Thursday, March 18, 2010

Highlights from The Art Of Christian Listening by Thomas N. Hart

The overall goal of the Christian listener/helper is to assist another to grow closer to God. It is not to be a psychological problem solver or psychotherapist, but the helper can certainly be supportive of all that is sought in healing and growth of an individual.

 To listen – be fully present, attentive, and set aside one’s own concerns and needs, it is an act of love.
 Be a companion – lighten the dreaded pain and burden from another’s shoulders.
 Love – love and love alone can make them well again, the transformative love of Jesus Christ.
 Be oneself – available and vulnerable to another, willing to take on pain and suffering.
 Not – being responsible for another person’s life, removing the problem or pain (but helping to work through it), being of greater experience, holiness or experience, making them a different person . . . affirm them as God’s beloved and created.
 Not (one more) – not psychotherapy . . . that is left to professionals, the “Christian helper/listener” is a support for other helpers.
 Freeing – Jesus liberated people from their self-imposed imprisonment of poor self esteem and guilt, and He did by simply loving them. The Christian helper can do the same as a human incarnation of Christ; loving them as they are, loving all parts of them; (good and bad, knowing the potential the Father created in them), and telling them why you love them, because love is the only thing that truly heals . . . the Love of God in Christ Jesus.
 Prayer – never forget the direct conduit to the Power of God to heal and liberate.

Philippians 4:6-9 . . . Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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