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May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017

"To Deepen a Friendship,
Listen with Empathy"

“We must ‘bear the burden’ of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others.”  Romans 15: 1  TLB

How do you build a friendship?  Listen!  That’s the most important way to build a relationship.  Listen to people, because you can’t love people without listening to them.

There’s a really big difference between hearing and listening.  When you hear people it means you hear the words they say.  When you listen, you hear words with the emotions.  I’ve often had someone say to me “I’m fine,” and said to them, “You don’t sound fine.”  So listening means that you also hear what the person isn’t saying.  

There is a name for that.  It’s called empathy.  When you have empathy you’re putting yourself in their shoes.  You’re seeing things as if you were them.  When you listen with empathy, you aren’t thinking about what you’re going to say to them.  

You’re just listening without interrupting.  You’re listening to hear their fears and feelings.  You’re also listening to what they’re not saying.  You’re not trying to fix the problem.  You’re just listening.  A lot of feeling comes in just listening.

What does our verse mean by “bearing the burden of others?”  It means that when people are in such pain that they don’t even know what to believe, you’re able to share  the promise of God that He is with them always.  Through you they will receive His empathy and be blessed.  

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don