What's the Gospel?

"The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.
That’s the gospel." - John Piper

Sunday, April 25, 2010

swift to hear, slow to speak.

I caught the 9:30am V-line train back to Melbourne from Geelong this morning.

There were no spare seats, so I had to huddle myself up near the door with a bunch of other people.

Standing right in front of me was an elderly couple.

These situations are kinda funny. You do that awkward smile, acknowledging that the situation is sucky, the weather is cold and it's a long, uncomfortable journey ahead.

Then you look out the window and there is an awkward moment of silence.

A few seconds later your eyes meet again so you ask, "You heading to Melbourne?".

They respond with a polite, "Yes" and then you nod like you care, waiting a few more awkward moments before throwing out the next question.

This went back and forward for a few minutes, then the man decided he'd like to tell me a story about his visit to America in the sixties.

I do love a good story, so I listened intently and when required sought clarification as his thick Italian accent made it a challenge to follow on.

His wife was standing there next to him, clutching on his arm so she wouldn't topple over when the train rattled.

Whenever she stumbled, she'd hold on tighter and her husband would say... "What's wrong Mama?!!" followed by this cheeky Italian giggle.

He was completely adorable.

Not really my type but I imagine if I had a Grandpa, he'd be it.

I got off the train thinking about the fact that the entire trip I barely said three words.

This is highly unusual for me.

When I got to Southern Cross I jumped on the next Upfield train and pulled out a book I bought at Word on Saturday. I'm up to the chapter on Authentic Communication and had to laugh when I came to this:

'Why is it that when we think of communication, we usually picture ourselves talking? The answer is fairly clear. We think what we have to say is pretty important - more important than what others have to tell us. But often the best thing we can do with our lips is to keep them sealed'.

I am so guilty of this.

Communication isn't all about talking, it's about listening.

The more I read of the chapter, the more convicted I felt about the need to spend more time listening and less time talking.

I don't know if you do this, but when I read Proverbs I have a tendency to think 'pity the fool' when I come to a part which describes a foolish man or woman.

The book quotes Proverbs 18:2, 'A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but delights in expressing his own opinion'.


I was later at a cafe on Sydney Rd, jumping between Proverbs, my Mocha, croissant and this book.

it didn't take long to hit me quite hard.

Liz, your problem is Pride.

I can be so self-deceived sometimes.

I feel so confident that I am right to judge situations as this or that until I open the Book and He says, "No child, you are wrong".

His Word shows us up every time.

Sharper than a double-edged sword?

You bet.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, hun. I smiled when I read: "I got off the train thinking about the fact that the entire trip I barely said three words. This is highly unusual for me."


    We've been working on the whole "listening" thing in my pastoral care class. Had to write listening evaluations etc, practice my listening skills and well...I'm not such a good listener as I thought I was! much work to do in that area. But it's amazing how much you can learn from listening and, often without knowing this, also help others by just listening to them. :) So rewarding on both ends.

    Anyway, great stuff.

    big love xx