My voice was louder than I wanted it to be… or needed it to be.
I simply wasn’t listening well.
I was defending, always pointing out the other side, which I think does come into play, but my timing was completely off.
The other person needed me to listen, hearing their point of view with understanding and empathy.
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV) says it this way:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Make. A command. Something you can DO.
What should we do during this tumultuous time of history?
MAKE every effort.
My part in ALL the discussions happening is to make the effort.
Every effort to keep the unity… and that begins within my own family.
I have strong reactions and my own filter I’m seeing events through, BUT I CAN MAKE every effort.
Bottom line: it starts with Listening.
I can have boundaries for my availability to listen.
The blow-up happened as I had one foot out the door heading to the barbecue grill to start dinner.
Terrible timing. Not the moment for a good session of listening. I should have offered an idea of, “Let’s talk after dinner,” or “Let’s grab a cold drink and sit out on the deck and chat.”
Amy Carroll from Proverbs 31 ministry summed it up beautifully— Listen. Feel. Speak. Do.
We can give ourselves permission to listen and feel, aka… process, BEFORE speaking or doing. That’s exactly how I’m wired. I NEED time to think through all the info coming at me these days.
Ephesians 4:1-3 from The Message Translation describes it beautifully:
“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
I’m wondering how you are doing? Is there tension in your home? With friends? Co-workers?
Keep making every effort to keep the unity.
My prayer for you is this: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5
As you make the EFFORT, may He give you ENDURANCE and ENCOURAGEMENT.