Have you ever been talking with someone about some trials that were pulling you down, only to have the person look away and then interrupt you to talk about a totally unrelated subject? The person tuned out!
Have we ever done this ourselves? I have to ask myself, Do I listen to others intently and make them feel that at that time nothing else matters but them? Or am I too busy focusing on my own world? How can I improve?
Even while Jesus was going through His greatest trial, hanging on the cross, He took the time to show care for His mother, to pray for His enemies, to care for the men hanging on the cross beside Him. We must take the time to serve our neighbors first, before self. "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being" (1 Corinthians 10:24 1 Corinthians 10:24Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
American King James Version×).
A favorite song of mine is sung by a young man, Josh Groban. It's called "You Raise Me Up!"
"When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary/ When troubles come and my heart burdened be/ Then, I am still and wait here in the silence/ Until you come and sit awhile with me.
"You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains/ You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas/ I am strong, when I am on your shoulders/ You raise me up... to more than I can be."
These are words that we should fulfill with one another. How can we make sure that no one goes away from us feeling empty and discouraged?
1. Put your trials, activities and concerns aside and listen to your brother or sister.
2. Keep eye contact. Looking away makes it seem you are not interested in what is being said.
3. Don't allow interruptions.
4. Follow up! Go back to the person and ask how he or she is doing.
When I was going through a trial a few months ago, a minister friend called and left a message on my voice mail at work. He said, "I just called to see how you are." This happened in May and I still have not erased that message. Why? Because he took the time to call and care, which was music to my ears.
Maybe you can't solve other people's problems, but many times people just want to know that you care and you are with them throughout their trial.
God has called us to be encouragers. It takes sacrifice and putting our needs aside to do this. Are you helping people to walk on stormy seas? For a time it may require holding them on your shoulders so they can become strong. Take the time to show you truly care.