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Faith and Encouragement

Matthew 6:33

Month

January 2014

The POWER of listening to others

Listening-to-God1

I think we all feel that we could be better listeners, don’t we?  Or at least many of us do. But do we realise the true impact of listening from the heart when someone we know is upset or in distress?

I hadn’t really thought about this so much until it happened to me the other day. To give you a little context I’ll just explain that I had woken up in the night around 3 am and couldn’t sleep, and for some reason I started investigating online into alcoholism.  I’ve seen a lot of very serious, “far gone” alcoholics in parks and squares etc, who sleep rough, and I was wondering if they could all become sober, or if some physically couldn’t survive without the alcohol in their system.  I was thinking about it because I remembered a conversation with one homeless man who explained to me that when he drank water he would throw up and that the only thing that would “normalise” his body was alcohol.  I didn’t understand this at the time, but after my late night investigation, I’ve come to comprehend it a little better, by reading this article about the about the “myths and realities of alcoholism”: http://www.lakesidemilam.com/alcohol-drug-addiction/under-the-influence/a-guide-to-the-myths-and-realities-of-alcoholism/

Anyway, back to the topic in hand: listening.  When I woke the next morning I was very distressed by what I had learnt, as I have a close family member who is an alcoholic, and I felt so bad that I hadn’t understood their condition before and that I had been judgmental towards them.

Thankfully, my husband was at my side, ready to listen carefully to my inner suffering.  I asked him to close the computer and to put away his phone and that he look at me.  I know that all sounds very demanding, but I found that I physically couldn’t tell him anything of importance unless he gave me his undivided attention.  And when he did, it was like a soothing balm to my spirit.  When he looked at me and listened and understood I felt such relief and healing; I was able to unburden my sorrows and feel so much lighter afterwards.

One of the reasons why it is so important for me to feel listened to is that my “Love Language” is Quality Time. I don’t know if you have studied or even heard of the “5 Love Languages”, if not, I recommend you investigate them as they are extremely beneficial too all, not only married couples.  This is a nice little video in which Dr. Gary Chapman gives a brief overview of the 5 Love Languages and their importance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5TUhTsxPw

Everyone feels better after being listened to without interruptions, unwanted advice or judgement.  However, those of us whose “Love Language” is Quality Time need to be listened to in this way in order to stay emotionally sane.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of labelling someone as “attention seeking” or “immature” when they tell us to put down our smartphone / newspaper or turn off the TV / computer and give them our undivided attention.  But it’s not that at all.  I can tell you that when I’m not listened to I feel ignored, unloved, frustrated and alone.  But 5 – 10 minutes (or more!) of being listened to in a meaningful way can make a HUGE difference; a world of difference.  It’s very powerful.

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Serve God and not Religion!

religionI love God over all things and I desire to serve him with all my heart, “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

I want to preach the Gospel as Jesus commanded us to (Matthew 28:18-20)

I want to proclaim “the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah” (Revelation 12:10, Daniel 2:44, Psalm 2) as the only solution to humanity’s problems.

I want to be part of a brotherhood in which we are all equal, like in early Christianity.

Obeying the Bible as our authority and not “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:6-9)

Serving God and neighbour with sincere love and not hypocrisy or selfish ambition.

Not making money from the Word of God nor living off tithes and offerings.

Doing good, consoling others with the Word and giving to poor as our Lord did.

Not asking for anything, but giving generously.

Not judging, but consoling.

Not ordering others about, but encouraging them in love.

Not tearing down, but building up.

No more religion!!!  Christ is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Juan 14:6), only He can lead us to the Father and only His sacrifice can make the forgiveness of sins possible.

Religion is guilty of inciting people to kill and hate each other (Revelation 18:24).

Religion is the lair of false prophets and charlatans (Revelation 18:2)

Religion is like a shop that sells salvation, but without a guarantee.

Religion enjoys “excessive luxuries” (Rev 18:3), making a profit from the faithful.  It proclaims itself to be “the house of God and the gate to heaven”, “Noah’s ark”, the way to salvation.  However, her corruption is self-evident and we know that “God has remembered her crimes”.  This is why the Bible warns us to “Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes”. (Revelation 18:4-5)

If you share my thoughts or some of them, please write to: vengaturreino@gmail.com.

May the grace of God the Father, the love of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit illuminate and guide us!

 

 

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