Care, Not Cure

I don’t know about you, but when someone comes to me with a problem, my first instinct is to want to “cure” it. But most often what people need is just someone to listen. Listening without fixing is of great value and much-needed. Doesn’t sound too hard? Oh yea, just try it!

It is hard to resist the temptation to fix others. The way I see it, there are two reasons for this: 1) We genuinely care and want to help find answers. 2) We believe we know what is best and that if they just did things our way, it would turn out OK. The first reason comes from a sense of compassion; the second reason comes from the need to control.

Whatever the reason, trying to help without really listening isn’t helpful. Have there been times when you wished someone would just sit with you without trying to fix, pass judgment, or tell you about a time when they were in your situation? I recall having trouble with a relationship and tried talking to another friend about it. Almost immediately, my friend starting talking about one of her troubled relationships, and pretty soon, the conversation was all about her. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I left the exchange feeling that I hadn’t been heard at all and actually felt worse. And I know there have been times when I have done the same thing to others.

So our challenge is to sit “in the pit” with someone and just listen. Practice caring, not curing. Not as easy as it sounds, but a wonderful way to help those who God has put in our path.

Being Human connection: Practice caring, not curing.  

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak.”
-James 1:19a

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
–Proverbs 18:13

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”