This Week At GracePoint Be Encouraged

Be Encouraged

Hi GracePoint Family,

We have had a great start to Point Groups and our Sunday evening group, Enriching Relationships, is a lot of fun. As the group description said, all of us have relationships in some way, shape, or form, and we could all use some time devoted to enriching them. A couple weeks ago the topic was on communication and we looked at the task of “empathetic listening” based on Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In this great book, he outlines a basic premise for communication and really, how to relate to others around you. He says, “seek first to understand before being understood.”

Several years ago, I was very grateful to read those words and they have stuck with me and saved me in many situations even though I will never practice it perfectly. My heart has been heavy as I scroll through social media and see the news feeds. There is an awful lot of chatter happening about the events of our day that are seeming to divide us further, and everyone is offering an opinion.

I will save you from another opinion about any particular topic and simply invite you into practicing the simple principle of “seek first to understand before being understood.” In essence, instead of either speaking or preparing to speak, truly seek to listen to another person or people group and actually listen. Learn about their story and how they see our world. Put yourself in their shoes. Read and hear from people that you may not agree with or feel like you have much in common with. Challenge yourself to be challenged and to think critically beyond your own experience.

If we are going to be able to come together as a community and as a country, it is going to start by talking less at each other and listening more to each other.

Let’s be the Kingdom as we “seek to understand before being understood” to help bring unity to a fractured country.

Have a great rest of your week and a great Sunday.

Pastor Phil