Part 4 – Respectful
Matthew 7:12 ESV “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets
Deuteronomy 18:15 ESV “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen--
1 Peter 2:17 ESV Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Claire had felt invisible most of her life. A middle daughter in a family of five children, 4 boys and her, she just never felt her family gave her a second thought. Not the oldest. Not the youngest. A vapor in her mind. She had accomplished much by getting her law degree and becoming a prosecuting attorney, but deep inside, she still felt like that young girl sitting in the back of the room that no one saw.
Janice worked in the District Attorney’s office and had helped Claire on several of her cases. They seemed to connect, though Janice knew Claire was not a believer, she always found a way to insert some kind of hope for Claire when they spoke. Claire saw Janice down the hall and came to ask her if she would like to attend a workshop being offered at the university on women in the law. They decided to go.
As they sat having lunch during the seminar, Janice asked Claire about her family. Claire began to share she was the middle child and before she knew it, she was telling Janice exactly how invisible she had felt most of her life. She thought maybe becoming a powerful attorney was a way to cope with it. Janice counseled women at church and she began to help Claire understand her own feelings. When Claire said it would have been better had she just not been born and aborted, Janice’s immediate thought was to begin to tell her how horrible and sinful abortion is. But, God quieted her. She knew Claire's hurt was deep if she would admit to such a thought.
Claire was very liberal, pro-choice and Janice wanted to respect her. Janice began to share how God had helped her learn how valuable she was in this world since Jesus loved her enough to die in her place and how she had overcome early childhood sexual abuse with God's help. She didn’t argue the points of pro-life VS pro-choice. She just shared the truth of God’s love. Many times its best to bring offensive thinking as opposed to defensive thinking when discussing things with people who do not share your world view.
She knew Claire was not saved, but Janice had a heart for Claire to know Jesus. So she took time to listen and respect who Claire was without condemning her or saying how wrong her views were. Claire was amazed at how insightful Janice was and she heard her. They made plans to go to lunch more and Janice even said she wanted Claire to have dinner and meet her family. God was beginning a work in Claire's heart that day.
Being respectful of the person we are listening to means not saying things you know will hurt or make them angry. If you must say a truth that is hard to swallow, ask God for the right words. This takes practice, but as you seek Him, He will be your Teacher.
People are drawn to good listeners, therefore offering that listener an opportunity to share Jesus with others.
PRAYER: Father, give me a patient heart, willing to respect that person you have placed in front of me and help me to offer the right words that will bring you glory and pierce their heart with an apt word for the moment. Help me to be a better listener and give me opportunities to help others by doing so. In Jesus Name, Amen
Treasuring You in Him,
Karen Jantzi, CPC/CMEC is the Founding President of Treasured Woman and the CEO of HAVEN Coaching and Consulting. She has a passion for helping women find a permanent sense of self-worth and value through living in the authority and love of Jesus Christ in their lives. She has been a business owner and executive for over 20 years and enjoys helping women bring life to their dreams of owning a business. As an author,, blogger and speaker, Karen shares her life changing story with women across the nation with the hope that they too will turn to Christ and live a life they treasure. Karen lives with her husband, is the mother of 5 and enjoys life on the Yough River not too far outside of Pittsburgh. You may contact her at 407-687-5988 or firstname.lastname@example.org