Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

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Stephen Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most famous book is entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” This book highlights seven ways one can be more effective in life, work, or their profession as they seek to hone their craft. Habit #5 is: Seek first to understand, then be understood. We are currently in the midst of a society where members are wanting to be heard. We continue to see people from all walks of life desiring someone to talk to and seeking someone to listen to what they have to say. While some may see this as a challenge, Christians should see this as an opportunity! We too, have a message that we want to share. That message is the message of Jesus Christ. When people are heard, they will listen!

The first step to becoming a Christian is “hearing” what Scripture says when it comes to building our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We must “listen” to what God has to say by reading and/or hearing His words. Proverbs’ central theme is based on the idea that wisdom is grounded in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). The point is this, we must seek to understand God by listening to what He has to say, and we must work on growing a relationship with Him by wanting to know more about His wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”  

The idea of “listening” to gain information is a valuable tool. We are expected to transfer this principle as we explain to others that Jesus is the answer (John 16:33). It is up to us to listen to the needs of others and then explain Jesus is the answer. We must put aside our own autobiography and listen to the concerns and needs of others so we can have information from them to point them to Christ. Let us listen to others so we can share Jesus. 

Allen Jones
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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