Heart to heart conversation


(Jasmine Arthur) #1

Hi,

When I’m responding to a person’s question I’m not sure that I always speak to the heart of what they might be saying.

How can I learn to get to the heart of what someone is saying and respond to that rather than only speaking to the surface of their question?

Many thanks in advance!

Jasmine


(SeanO) #2

@Jasmine What methods have you tried? I’d like to learn from you as well.

My personal approach is to ask myself, “Why is this individual asking this question?” For example, if someone ask a question about the nature of Hell, oftentimes the question behind the question is related to God’s character. “How could a loving God…” So yes, they do need their direct question answered, but at a deeper level they need to be assured of God’s love and grace as expressed through Jesus - that we can trust God is good and God is love.

If I’m not sure why a person is asking a question, it can be helpful just to ask them, “Why do you ask?” or “What causes you to ask that question?” or “How come you ask that question?” Then take the time to listen and understand what is motivating their question. Be an engaged listener and take the time to really hear their heart. Then you can more appropriately respond.


(Carson Weitnauer) #3

Hi @Jasmine,

Thank you for asking this question! I think this will help many, many others. We all need to learn and grow in this skill… I don’t think we ever have this one figured out. Every person is different and we have to stay in a humble place if we’re going to connect with someone else’s heart.

I think @SeanO offered some good ideas.

Here are some other practical tips you may find helpful:

  • Ask the Lord to give you insight into their heart and how you can love them.

  • Attempt to summarize what they have shared. Then ask, “Is that what you are saying? I want to make sure I’m understanding where you’re coming from.”

  • Let the other person know how much you value them and their contribution to the discussion. For example, “That’s an interesting way of looking at it; I hadn’t considered that before!”

  • Acknowledge their emotions. “It seems like you’re a bit upset about how Christians have mistreated you…”

  • Reassure them that you are comfortable hearing their point of view. “I know it might seem weird, but it doesn’t bother me to hear what you think about the Bible. I’m really curious to know how you see things.”

What have you learned about how to speak to the heart of what someone else is saying?