Learning to listen

The other day at work I was listening to a conversation at coffee break.   The conversation was about sentencing for people who do Internet kiddie porn.  One of my workmates made the comment that if someone is sick enough to do kiddie porn, they could probably never get better.

I wanted to say “That’s not true – Jesus can heal anyone”.  Instead, I just stayed silent and listened.  I listened to my workmates – but I forgot to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Why didn’t I say anything?  Because I couldn’t see a way to jump into the conversation with a faith perspective without sounding forced or unnatural.  I didn’t want to preach to them – I wanted to share with them.  After all, I have to work with these people.  My goal is to share my faith with them in a natural way that leaves doors open for future conversation.

This morning I woke up and realized what was wrong with this picture.   Very simple – I was relying on my own ability to say the right thing, rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.   At that particular moment, I was more conscious of my own inability than of God’s ability – so I said nothing.

In an atmosphere of skepticism such as we probably find in most Canadian workplaces, it is easy to lose sight of God’s presence and power.  This little event reminds me of how important it is for me to listen to the Holy Spirit every day, in every situation, then learn to do what He shows me.   I understand this but I still need to keep training myself to practise it every day.  I need to keep fresh in worship and prayer every day so that my faith is built up and I am able to hear from God and see His perspective – so that I have fresh bread to share with people who are hungry for hope.

God, give me another opportunity like this one – and help me to be led by Your Spirit in how I respond!