RelationSHIFT Pt 4

Life is a series of relationships.

Every stage Baby - Child - School - Work - Married - Kids - Retirement.

Healthy, successful life = healthy successful relationships.

I’m going to continue our series at look at an important aspect of relationships and that is HEARING.

- hearing on a horizontal level +
- hearing on a vertical level.

We have two types of relationships. Horizontally with those we do life with, and vertically with God.

Statistics tell us that we spend 40% of our waking hours listening, and of that 40% we only hear 25% of what is being said. 
In other words, only a quarter of what we hear actually goes in.

Both the ability to speak and the ability to listen are important in relationships.

If either of those isn’t functioning we can receive the wrong information.

One of the biggest breakdowns of relationships is a lack of communication.

I want to look at: 
Three ear plugs - things that stop us from hearing. 
Three hearing aids - things that help us to hear + 
Three ways that we can hear God more clearly.

The first earplug is: Presumptions.

Proverbs 18:13 He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.

Presumptions are when we think we know what the other person is saying. Or we think we know what the other person is about to say.

This can be detrimental in relationships because we are filtering what other people are saying through our own perspective, and can miss what is trying to be communicated.

How do we avoid this?

By active listening.

There is a difference between listening and active listening.

Listening is hearing. 
Active listening is giving your full attention towards someone.

Active listening reduces assumptions and strengthens relationships.

The first hearing aid is: listen with your eyes.

Approximately 80% of communication is non-verbal. This means what you say only makes up 20% of what’s being communicated, the rest is made up of your body language, expressions, tone etc.

This is why emoji’s are so popular. Expressions that compliment the words you are texting.

When we listen with our eyes we are able to take in not just what people are saying, but how people are saying it.

We are able to engage in better communication because we are not just hearing words, we are seeing people.

Mark 10:21 says speaking about the rich young ruler “Jesus looked at him and loved him”.

Listening with your eyes allows you to see people for who they are.

The second ear plug is: impatience.

Experts say that the mind can listen to about 650 words/min, but only speak 150 words/min. This leaves a 500 words/min gap where the mind can wander.

This gap can lead us to become impatient and cause us to interrupt.

I do this all the time. I’m a sentence finisher. Anyone else?

If people are talking, in my head I’m already finishing their sentence…or sometimes even out loud and I’m helping them finish their sentence.

We must value peoples time by allowing them to communicate and listen to what they have to say.

The second hearing aid is: listen with your time.

The most valuable things you can give someone is your time.

Other things are important, but your time is something we all have to give people.

Who in your life can you give the gift of time to?

Are you utilising the time you have been given for the people in your life?

The third ear plug is: Pride.

Pride will stop us from hearing what people are saying.

What is pride?

Psalm 10:4 NIV [4] In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

This can also be finished as “in all his thoughts, there is no room for people”.

Pride is when your thoughts are so consumed with yourself there is no room for anyone else.

We need to let go of pride by allowing space for others.

Making a relationSHIFT means i am making a decision to take the focus off myself and put it on others.

When we focus on, and care about others we listen to what they are saying.

The third hearing aid is: listen with your heart.

Another example of Jesus hearing someone is in the story of the woman at the well.

Jesus is having a conversation with a woman who is telling him about her life on a superficial level, however he listens with his heat.

He ends up seeing past the superficial and into the heart of what is going on.

He speaks life into her life and changes it forever.

When we listen with our heart we see past the barriers or walls, and see to the heart of what is happening.

With the people in your life are you seeing into the heart of what’s going on?

Jesus heard what her heart was saying, not just the words coming out of her mouth.

Healthy relationships have depth to them.

Those are practical things we can do to help us listen to others, and strengthen our horizontal relationships.

What about our vertical relationship with God?

God is always speaking, it is in his nature to.

How well are we listening to God?

Do you know how to?

God speaks in different ways, lets look at the three main ways:

1) Through his Word.

This is the primary way God speaks to us.

He has lots to say to you that he has already written down, we have to read them.

Getting into the word is simply listening to what God is saying.

Let me encourage you to listen to the word of God as much as you can.

Allow him to speak directly to you by simply opening up your heart and asking his word to come alive to you.

2) God speaks through circumstances.

If we are open to hearing from God, we would be amazed at how often he speaks through the things that are happening in our lives.

Let me encourage you, whenever things out of the ordinary happen to you, as it the question; “God what are you saying?”.

So many times God uses situations to get our attention.

This happened to me this week.

3) God speaks to our hearts.

The Holy Spirit can speak directly to you. This is an amazing experience.

Commonly it is a still small voice that stirs something in our heart.

John 16:7-13 NIV
[7] But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. [8] When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: [9] in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; [10] in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; [11] and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. [12] “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. [13] But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Open you heart to him and allow him to speak to you.

God is wanting to speak to you.