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Monday, August 17, 2015

Be Interested, Not Interesting

Last Monday, the day before school started, we went with the Tipton Children's Home family to a water park to celebrate the last day of summer vacation.  That evening my husband did a "Back to School" devotional and one of the things he said has really stuck with me.  "Be interested, not interesting."  In other words, care about learning more about someone else than you do about telling about yourself.

This past weekend, my husband and oldest son were gone to Colorado.  Our daughter was out of town visiting her grandparents.  I took the youngest two to a Texas Rangers' baseball game, then they played golf.  Since they were a twosome, they paired them up with two other guys who were playing as singles.  During the course of that 18 holes, we learned so much about those two guys.  One of them was a retired Navy man who had spent his time on submarines.  The submarines were two football fields long, five stories high, and he was out three months at a time.  The other guy's son was drafted by the Pittsburg Steelers and played college football at Missouri.  He knew an acquaintance of ours and his son even roomed with that guy's son and played with him at college.

I was just thinking about how much we learned about those two guys, and while they probably asked my boys questions that I didn't hear, for myself, I was just interested in their stories instead of worrying about telling my own.  It's easy to get caught up in talking about "us", but it is best to listen to others tell about themselves, isn't it?  My mom and I used to laugh that when we went to the mall, we always heard at least one person's "life story".  I guess we just took the time to listen and the person needed to tell it!

We would all do well to listen more and talk less. I know for certain that I would. In fact, I'm striving to do so, and that's hard to do for a "talker" like me!  I don't care always about talking about myself, but I just like to talk!  I'm just being careful to channel the talking gene into learning more about others and being more careful to make sure it's not about me all of the time.

When listening to others, we will find out about their needs.  We will be better equipped to serve them and help them.  We will learn about their struggles, their pain, their joys, and their interests.  We may become friends.  We may be able to share the gospel with them.  In doing so, we will be interested, not interesting.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

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