Have you ever conversed with a person who indirectly cuts you down? Negating your dreams? Dissing your hopes?
Perhaps, you share what you are working towards and they reply, “Ya, I’ve been there; it didn’t work out because (list: the 100 reasons why)” Or, you share vulnerably and the person suddenly turns the story back around to themself. Maybe even, you let them know details about your child that makes you a little nervous and they expand on the conversation with a horror-story — that only compounds your worry.
We cannot control people’s reactions, but we can ask ourselves wise-questions before we share things with people:
– Is God calling me to share this story, right now — with this person?
– Might this person respond with advice or insight that is driven by fear, jealousy, worry or comparison?
– Does this person usually offer Godly perspectives, wisdom, and encouragement?
We don’t have to share everything — with everyone. We reserve the right to use: wisdom.
At the same time, of course, we know, no one is perfect. In fact, many times, even the best of Christians will have poor responses (I’ve made these mistakes too). Grace abounds.
In light of this fact, let’s flip the tables for a second — to look at our own self…
Ask yourself: How do I respond when people share their heart — with me?
1. Do I listen?
2. Do I consider what God wants me to say before I speak?
3. Do I put away anger, or other negative emotions, until I have fully processed, with God, what is being said? So that I can speak from a place of love?
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)
Prayer: Father, it is hard not to react. However, I ask you to give me the grace to listen before I speak, to understand before I counteract, and to gain perspective before I claim to know it all. Give me your vision for the people and the issues that come towards me. May I be your mouthpiece, for your glory and for your purpose — all the time. Teach me in your ways. Lead me in wisdom on who to share with and what to say. And, may I be both careful and tender with other’s hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.