Several years ago, a news report exposed a practice that some manufacturers of everyday household products were doing to save costs.  They reduced the amount of the product but used the same size packaging.  Consumers were totally unaware of the change.  The weight was reduced by several ounces as the same sized box held less, for the same price.

It’s amazing how often everything seems calm on the outside but turmoil is rumbling on the inside. I hate to admit it, but there were some Sundays when the kids were driving us crazy on the way to church, tempers may have gotten out of control and then you put on the happy face to walk into church.

How many people are dressed in their Sunday best but are struggling with some conflict that is eating away at them?  We might be surprised to learn that others are having the same problems that we experience.

Hello, how are you doing?  It’s often just said as a greeting.  Do you really want to know?  Are you ready to invest the time and energy if you get a surprisingly honest answer?   My wife was the champion at sincerely asking that question, “how are you”?  And then listening, asking follow-up questions and exuding trust and caring.  It was incredible how often that led to a conversation about topics that weren’t intended to be brought into the open.

Because she truly listened, was willing to share her own shortfalls and offered a safe space to be open and honest, many people were willing to peel back the layers and have frank discussions.  This often opened the door to authentic talks about feelings, family and faith.  That was her primary prayer, that people would see Jesus through her. 

Isn’t that what Jesus did?  He approached those with issues, challenges and in need of help. In today’s world I believe it helps to know that you are not alone.  Others are experiencing the same things as you.  Sharing the burden helps.  But sharing the grace and love of Jesus helps even more.

Ask the question.  Be willing to listen.  Share your story.  Tell of your need for God’s grace and the love of Jesus.  Peel back the layers as you plant or nurture the seeds of faith.  Then watch what the Holy Spirit can do. 

Thanks for your support of Church Extension Fund in Building the Kingdom.

Bill Burmeister
Church Extension Fund – Michigan District

Then Listen