Have you ever noticed that people’s favorite topic is themselves and that they are seriously focused on their favorite subject. Give them less than 60 seconds and they will flip whatever you are saying and find a way to talk about themselves. Guaranteed. And, this holds true for Christians as well as non-Christians. Sad but true – even Christians are consumed with themselves and their issues in life.
I am sitting in a car dealership waiting for a new brake switch to be installed. I began a conversation with a man I speak to whenever here and he is a born again Christian and a church attendee. It took less than 30 seconds for him to flip the conversation from me answering his question, “How are you?” to spending the next ten minutes talking about himself. He was literally not interested in how I was or what I have been doing – his question was simply a doorway into talking about his favorite subject – himself!
Chatted with a church leader recently – someone I did not know and who did not know me. Thirty minutes later I knew a lot about her and her ministry and she knew nothing about me whatsoever. Not because I did not want to share. In fact, I attempted to share a number of times and each time she brought it immediately back to her favorite subject – herself.
I can count a dozen encounters like these this week and not once did I feel that the person, the Christian, that I was talking to was in the least bit interested in anything about my life. I will meet with two Christians today in the course of my workday and guaranteed it will be the same. Always is!
I am not complaining as I really have reached the point in my life where I don’t feel a great need to share with others. It would be nice but not necessary. I recognize that many others have a need to talk and there are few who actually listen to them. So, I am here for them and listen intently because I care.
My concern – and the reason for the blog – is that I have watched these people interact in numerous situations and they do the same thing with everyone and not just with me. Whether they are talking to a believer or non- believer they simply switch the topic back to what their whole life is focused on – themselves.
No wonder we see few non- believers being saved. In general, our conversation and lifestyle does not communicate that we care. Our focus must be the other person if we hope to communicate His love for them and earn the right to share the Gospel with them. We need to learn how to be externally focused and how to listen to others – not just listening for a good jump-off point to flip the conversation to focus on us or what we want to talk about – but listening with our heart and giving them our undivided attention. In this way, they will know we are interested and that we care deeply about them and what they are going through in their life at this time.
It is time for disciples of the Lord to live in a manner different than those who do not know the Lord so that the Good News of Christmas – that God loves us and that He gave us a gift of His Son – can be truly seen and heard around the world.