Can folks talk with you about anything? Are we open to listening, even if our opinions are different?
My husband and I have been watching faithfully “The Chosen Series,” and if there is one thing that I love the most, is seeing the character of Jesus. He is so very approachable to everyone! Even if the disciples come to Him with concerns, He always puts them at ease. Jesus, I pray, make us like you in this way!
I remember having former bosses who were so non-approachable. Just walking into their offices, one would need much courage. After thinking about the impact that was left upon me from encountering a negative, unapproachable person, what does having a positive impression do for us? This leads me to some questions.
Do we welcome people’s complaints or concerns? Does a wall of insecurity crop up against the one who comes with a question? As we grow and mature, we should be people that are open to listening and hearing everyone, especially if we are in leadership.
Being well-adjusted emotionally and confidently in Jesus enables us to be “approachable.”
When I looked up the word, “approachable” it was defined as, “Friendly and easy to talk to, being nice and open and able to put people at ease.”
As Kingdom leaders, it is of high importance to emulate this type of character.
Who wants to approach someone or be afraid of their reaction?
- Learn to respond not react.
- Reacting comes from our emotions.
- Responding comes from our heart, our intellect, and from our place of security.
If our defenses come up even if a person just has a question, then we need to check where the feeling of “insecurity” is coming from. Throughout our life, we all have had bad experiences that have left us insecure. If these are not worked through, then we will get triggers about being rejected through an entire lifetime.
If a person just asks a question, it does not mean they are questioning us.
Learn not to internalize a question. People just sometimes need things clarified regarding a decision that was made. Don’t take it personally! Believe me, I am learning this. As an over-sensitive gal, things bother us when most are not affected by it. I used to be criticized for being too sensitive, but being sensitive is much better than being insensitive. Insensitivity leads to being desensitized, not feeling anything.
Sensitive people learn quickly how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to others.
God uses deep sensitivity for us to feel what others are feeling and even to what the Lord is feeling. Deep sensitivity can be used mightily in discernment. Don’t listen to that lie that you are “too sensitive.” God made you that way!
Kingdom leaders must put people at ease when they approach us.
Here’s why: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us.” (1 John 5: 14)
- It’s very important that folks know they are being heard.
It’s just simply appropriate to let others know we are listening. People need to know that what they are expressing, we are open to hearing. It helps to validate them! If we don’t listen, or if we cut them off, we are demeaning them. Jesus never does that!
Every good counselor will tell us to have good listening skills. Why? It opens up communication with one another.
Have you ever been offended or wounded when a person jumps to a conclusion before you finish pouring out from your heart? If this happens we often react by saying, “You’re not listening to me!”
Ask any husband or wife who is in marriage counseling for communication issues. Needing to “be heard” is a common issue that counselors deal with in relationships.
Again, the Word of God says be confident that, “In Him (Jesus Christ) and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3: 12)
Do we want our children to be afraid to approach us? No way! Neither should we have our confidants, our team, or really anyone, be afraid to approach us with a question or suggestion.
Folks grow when being mentored, and having questions is part of that process. Our questions give us the freedom to, also, build confidence. If we are disregarded or told we annoyed someone, it shatters our confidence.
Always release mercy and grace in all circumstances.
Jesus modeled this. We are told, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 16)
KINGDOM PRINCIPLE: Extending mercy and grace makes us approachable.
Keep extending not only your hand but your heart.