How To Get People To Listen

Lessons From The Prophet Samuel

Every day millions of people watch movies, read books and scour the internet for stories that make them laugh or inspire them. Each day, we listen to our friends tell us about our funny or dramatic things that happen to us. People take out their iphones and show pictures and share their stories. Our stories are how we relate to one another.

Humor can almost always be found in a story because, after all, we’re human! We all have our ups and downs, wins and losses, comedy and tragedy and history in our life. However overall, each one of our lives tells a larger story.cutie

When you look at the story of Samuel, have you ever thought to yourself “Why did people always stop and listen to what he had to say?”

Perhaps the greatest compliment we can see given to Samuel is in 1 Samuel 3:19-20:

“The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.”

God was with Samuel, even when Samuel was a young boy. (1 Samuel 3:11-18)  Even though God had a stern message for Samuel’s elder, Eli, Samuel spoke the truth in love.  Samuel remained faithful to God and this encounter began a long pattern for Samuel.

Samuel’s influence grew to be quite vast. God used Samuel to remove King Saul and gave the Israelites two kings while Samuel was still alive.

Why did Samuel have such respect from the people?  He did the following:

  1. Samuel loved God and loved people. He was invested in listening to God as well as being highly relational. Just like the Bible describes God as “The Good Shepherd” Psalm 23, Samuel was relational and identified with the people. He loved them, cared for them and took time to listen to them. Not only did Samuel listen to the people, but he spent time in his relationship with God and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. This was why the people stopped what they were doing and listened to him because they knew that when he spoke, he had something important to say. They knew that he cared for them and loved them, and wanted God’s best for them. They also knew that he spent time listening (to them – and God). That is why his words carried such weight.
  2. Samuel was a wise steward. He knew the talents God gave him and was responsible to develop them and give them back to God. Samuel’s life was certainly not easy. He cried over the disobedience of Israel, confronted others, yet through it all remained faithful to his calling, and accountable to God.Screenshot 2015-11-10 18.52.00
  3. Samuel spoke the truth of God’s word and made biblical principles relevant or applicable to the times in which people were living in. Samuel remained firm in his conviction about the lessons God had taught in the past, and proclaimed God’s truth to the people about their current state. He boldly professed the vision God placed on his heart, which is why people listened to his revelations.
  4. Samuel served the Lord in humility. His life gives us a model that a true servant of Christ is one who gives up his rights instead of gaining them when he reaches the top. The reason people listened to Samuel was because they knew that he had their best interests at heart…

    Samuel modeled this several times as he interceded for Israel, when he made sacrifices on the altar on their behalf, when he cried for their welfare. Power, prominence or prestige were never motivating factors to him, rather, it was a heart of Godly love that drove him to serve. That’s why people listened.

The length and breadth of our influence on others is directly related to the depth of our concern for them. When it comes to helping people grow there simply is no substitute for

Take time to express your love and appreciation for the people close to you. Tell them how much they mean to you! Write them a card to let them know how much you care. If you see them at the store or at church, then give them a pat on the back or a warm hug. Don’t ever assume that people know how you feel about them. Tell them!  It is love that makes us human, and it is love that will change our world!

Your Sister in Christ,

Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.

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