Hearing for the Holidays
Hearing for the Holidays
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)
As much as I would love for my family holidays to reflect the lyrics of the Christmas music we hear at this time of year, for most of us, having a wonderful Christmastime isn’t simple. Paul McCartney might remind us that “The mood is right, the spirit’s up, we’re here tonight and that’s enough” … but is it enough?
Often, our holiday gatherings include people who aren’t in our day-to-day orbit… and maybe for good reason. They may have ideas, opinions, or beliefs so far from our own that it can feel like they live on a different planet.
We may not always agree with those around us, but as followers of Christ, we are called to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).
Father God, thank You for hearing us. We pray for the same heart for Your children that You have. May we desire to understand our brothers and sisters and find peace in that understanding, especially when we cannot agree.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be in a hurry for my turn to speak again. I’m listening for my opportunity to share instead of listening to the one who is currently sharing with me. The way Jesus relates to us, however, models how we are created to connect with others.
When we listen only for our next chance to speak, the focus isn’t on bridging the existing gap between us – it’s on reiterating what divides us. But when others can sense our love and attentiveness in how we listen and hear what they are saying, it becomes easier for us to share our differing thoughts without shutting down the conversation.
This holiday, we can make the mood right by creating a place not only where God’s truth can be spoken, but to reflect to others who God is: a God who listens.
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