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For most of us, talking is not as much of a problem as listening.  We don’t like to listen.  Talking is all about “self” expression.  And, as we are expressing what we think or believe, we are not waiting to hear what the other person might want to add or interject.  The longer we talk without pausing for a response, we can lose the ‘ear’ of the other person.

It is true that Christ-followers can be some of the worst offenders in this setting.  When we see behavior that is erroneous, we are eager to point that out to  person and just rail about why they should not do “that” and why they should do “this”.  That behavior is a major issue for the person that is seeking to present the Gospel to a friend or co-worker.  If we don’t first find out their spiritual condition, their background, and something about their current issues in life, we can barge into the Gospel without “building” the proper bridge of relationship. The result of doing that?  Failure to connect the love of Jesus to their heart!  That connection is absolutely essential for them to feel comforted so that they can hear (maybe even at a later time) the power of what Jesus Christ has done for them and what He offers them through their faith.

The more someone is hurting, the more that they need a person that is compassionate enough to show concern and listen.  When one’s pain is running deep, it is not easy to hear any input (even if it is true and beneficial).  The pain felt at that moment exceeds any ability to hear rationally.  So, what is done through hearing, understanding, and seeking to provide basic kinds of help are all critical “moments” that establish one’s concern for the other person. Once that is in place, the freedom to share eternal truth has been earned.

A cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo Theater. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the cowboy, “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”

The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge. The usher became more impatient: “Sir, if you don’t get up from there I’m going to have to call the manager.”

Once again, the cowboy just groaned. The usher, realizing he’s dealing with an impaired individual, marched briskly back up the aisle, and in a moment he returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success.

Finally they summoned the police. The Texas Ranger surveyed the situation briefly, then asked, “All right buddy, what’s your name?”

“Fred,” the cowboy moaned.

“Where you from, Fred?” asked the Ranger.

With terrible pain in his voice and slowly pointing one finger painfully toward the ceiling, Fred replied, “…The balcony…”

Effective communication is essential.  (Copied).