Recently my family had some guests over for dinner. We typically include our kids in our dinners for convenience and for fun. It’s just how we roll. This comes with “fun” and also sticky points that we have to work through. During this most recent dinner, one of my children, who shall remain nameless, was still learning the art of conversation. This child, Child #1 shall we call them, proceeded to regale the table of all the tales they could come up with of the tantalizing life that they lead in elementary school. As loving people, we indulged a few of these stories but after a while when the monopoly continued on and on it became difficult. There were many other people at the table. Child #1 was not the only one there. But Child #1 wanted to be the center of conversation, indefinitely.
Philippians 2:4 tells us: “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” [bctt tweet=”Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” via=”no”]
In our society, as we push forward to make our way, whether in business, academics, or personal relationships we can be tempted to want to show people who we are. Telling them, “This is Me!” We may try to convince them who we are through our awesome stories, things that we have or activities we participate in. But do you know what people are really dying for? Do you know what we needed to teach Child #1? People would like YOU to be interested in THEM. They would like you to care about them. They would like you to ask questions about their life. The art of conversation is a beautiful thing. It should ping pong back and forth as different parties ask the other about their lives and their interests. Our world will be so much richer if we unlearn this selfish monopolizing behavior that is so pervasive and begin to ask, (and care) about others. [bctt tweet=”People would like YOU to be interested in THEM. “]
As a Pastor, I have sat down at tables with so many different types of people. Most of these people have been nothing like me. In the early days of ministry, I was nervous to be with people I didn’t know. What would we talk about? Ahhh! The nerves! But as the years have gone by I have learned that each person has so much to offer if I would start to ask. At the end of an evening, I can feel so much closer to someone who I hardly knew before we sat down. I just have to be willing and open to quit playing my default game of Monopoly and start playing a rousing game of Ping Pong.