For about two months, I believe, two friends of mine way back in high school decided to earn a bit of extra money. They put an ad in the paper (what people did at that time) that they would listen to anyone talk about anything for $30 an hour, also placing a caviotte that they were not therapists, lawyers or professionals and would give no advice at all but just confidentially listen only. They received many, many calls and eventually withdrew the ad and quit when inundated with calls and really were overwhelmed with the burden of carrying so much information from all those people. A great entrepreneural construct gone awry. Made lots of money but sanity is worth far more than money.
I think of this story every time I listen to people. A listening ear is a great blessing or a great curse.
But a larger point is exposed and bare here. People need to talk and there are few to listen. People are few to listen partly because most people are so wrapped up in themselves, partly because no one wants the extra burden of hearing someone else’s reason to talk, and partly because it does not relate to them. And this is sad. Until. What a great word that is. Until the listener remembers that God listens to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we can point people to Him. God is our listener. And with a universe of experience and unlimited power and love, He is pretty good at both listening and helping. And if we can point people to Him, you will be giving them the best advice and tool of their lives. God is always with us, loving us and of course listening to us. Always. To eternity. Amazing. His ears are not slightly burdened by our sharing. And He can freely help with love too. Amazing. So our listening ear is a conduit of God to point people to Him. That is beautiful!❤
I noticed blogs stroking the ego and positive blogs have much greater success than blogs which are introspective and critical of societal anti-Jesus’-way behaviors. Perhaps the latter are seen as judgmental or worse, condemning or strike a nerve of those wrestling with sin and feeling pretty bad about that. People want to feel good rather than be truly wise and want growth and improvement in the kingdom of God. And this used to tick me off because the Christians it was meant for were too much like the world we are supposed to be alien to. But I thought about this, the Lord popped into my head the following verse: (2 Timothy 4:2.) “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
People want to hear good stuff, which is why we need to share the Word of God to everyone. Time is short and is certainly shorter today than yesterday. We need to strive for improvement and do a good job loving on people. Most of the time that is positive but sometimes correction is in order and we must be as encouraged and thankful for that than the good stuff. We need both to grow and be healthy b in our relationship with the Lord and others. ❤
Here is my short list of things to say every day at least once.
1. I love you.
2. Please and thank you.
3. Thank you, God.
4. What a beautiful day God has made!
5. I praise You, God, for Your glory.
6. Lord, I need help today.
7. I was just thinking about you.
8. Yes, Ma’am/Sir or yes, please and No, Ma’am or No,please.
9. You are most welcome.
10. Thank you, God, for all the blessing You have given me today.❤
In a world all tumbled up with lies, I just want to shed all that and listen to God who is Truth. But how do I know which voice is God’s and which is everything else’s lies? Here is what I have realized with God’s help, no doubt…
God has a still small voice. He is quiet. I remember the poignant sentence, “A lion does not need to scream that he is a lion, he just walks in and it is clear.” God is the quiet voice that is simple and clear and true. If there is confusion in it, it is not 100% truth, which is the only truth I am interested in. If there is confusion or distraction or mystery or dogma or power plays or money or lust or tech or twists or science or truth presented alongside the word “but”, all these are not 100% truth. So these things are all lies from the enemy of God to destroy the people God made and rule them prior to their destruction. Lies are the only way they can do this. So all that noise is not truth, is not God speaking. God speaks clearly in a still small voice. And He does this because He wants everyone saved, even the simple people He made. The simple love message from God is the truth. The Bible is truth and the Word of God. So when I get out in nature, I pray and listen and when I hear a bombardment of thoughts and temptations and ideas, I know that is not God speaking to me. So I dismiss those voices in Jesus’ name. When I pray a question and listen after praising God and saying the name of Jesus out loud in humble thanks, I will quite often get a quiet yes or no in my heart/soul. And that is it. Simple, clear. In general, the more a person talks, the less truth they are pushing. Convincing arguments generally derive from pride and levels of lies. The truth is straightforward. Generally, the less people say, the more true their words are. Not always, but most often. Remember that God is Truth and speaks in a still, small voice to a humble heart. Beware of any other words❤
Now, I believe friends should talk to each other. I mean true friends. God puts people together for such purposes… to share and help and encourage each other and worship God together. Now, how can that happen if communication is down or one sided? Truly, it cannot.
I was very surprised to learn some disturbing stuff a friend is going through. It seemed all was well. I am not sure if it was their being good at hiding or my complete inattention to details which would have signaled me (I seem doomed to some level of blindness) and my optimistic nature, but I am certain both of us were at fault and I am sorry for my part.
My first reaction was “Why on earth didn’t you tell me so I could have been praying for you?” Secondly, I could have helped or encouraged or something. Thirdly, didn’t you trust me? Now, that last one I readily admit is selfish. But I want you to see how we extroverts think. And I get that introverts hate being helped so loudly. I get that. I understand… most of my few friends are introverts. My mom is an introvert. I get it.
But the praying thing is spot on. If you are going through something, feel free to say, “Now don’t make a big, loud deal out of this, but I need to talk and I need prayers only.” And that is totally doable. That is conditional, sharing your feelings communication right there. See what beautiful things can happen when we are true friends and share the load and pray together. Amazing things!❤
Good things and bad things happen to everyone. This is one fair thing that occurs in life. Of course, these good and bad things don’t happen at the same time, it is random. But I no longer believe any of these are consequences or chance. Nor are they fate or destiny. They are hidden messages from God. He cannot talk to us directly because of the sin so He does whisper to us when we confess and repent in humble prayer, especially with fasting. Otherwise, He speaks through situation, action, opportunities, etc. But while He is speaking to us, thr enemy sends us distractions to try to keep us from getting the message, so it gables with his lies and looks like misfortune or wrongs against us or chaos or injustice if we buy that garbage. And God still speaks. And if you free yourself from the distractions and lies and humbly pray for answers, God will clarify. He always will. Trust Him. Ask Him. Go to the source of the conversation.❤