I trust you are doing well and looking forward to the Lord's Day.
In an attempt to stay current and relevant I read a number of articles by Christians that are on the internet. Earlier this week I read one from a counselor that hit home and will be beneficial to us all. He wrote the following:
I was only 21 years old when a family asked if they could meet with me to discuss how their marital difficulties were affecting their teenage daughter and son. At the time, I had "pastor" in my title, but I wasn't yet married and certainly didn't have any children.
As I read the email, I wondered why they contacted me. I was part of a large staff that included people with titles such as "care pastor." Surely others were more suited for a job like this. Yet they had emailed me. What wisdom could I possibly bring to such a situation? What would I say? How could I help?
This is what I decided to do when that couple finally came to the church to meet with me. As they explained their situation, I gave them my full attention. I asked them questions to clarify, and I sought to truly understand their situation.
A moment from the meeting sticks with me to this day. As the husband was sharing their situation, he said, "I guess now that I'm talking about it, I'm realizing how much I'm at fault." He looked at his wife with tears in his eyes. "I'm so sorry," he said. I hadn't said a word.
Now here was the paragraph that truly hit home for me:
When I feel like I have nothing to bring to these moments, I remember my ears. They are, without question, the most valuable asset in pastoral ministry. I cannot tell you how many times I walk away from counseling sessions or visiting someone without having said much at all, yet feeling like I have given them the attention their problem deserves. So often what people need is to be heard with great effort.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.