I'm listening to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and one of the habits is to seek first to understand, then to be understood. And it talks about empathic listening--not judging, not agreeing(sympathy) but feeling what they feel(empathy). And that this is powerful.

According to Covey, the first need that follows physical survival is psychological survival: You matter. Conveying to a person that they have value.

And what's more, Stephen Covey says, you can have "no confidence in a prescription unless you are sure of the diagnosis."

Which leads me to the three reasons for psychological counseling according to the Jay E. Adams book, The Christian Counselor's Manual, which admittedly I have not read yet, merely reading it vicariously through Angie, so I won't go into it here.

Point being: You can't prescribe a treatment without an accurate diagnosis and understanding of the issue at hand.

Scriptures on listening.
Exodus 6:8-10
8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.

Proverbs 18:13
He who answers before listening, that is his folly and his shame.

Luke 10:16
16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

James 1:19
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

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Comment by Angie Craven on August 4, 2008 at 9:58pm
Hey Smaranda...my boss was checking out your blog too and he was very impressed. He's hoping for more scripture to support all of the quotes. He says as Christians if it's not from God's word, then we're building on sand. If we're just one degree off and in the middle of the ocean we might miss the entire continent. Keep up the great work following the Berean's example and keep your heart close to the Lord. Like you said in your other blog about not getting in His way, He will continue to work His miracles of love and grace through you!

I absolutely love this quest for an accurate diagnosis. You know my feelings about the kids and adults that have received inadequate treatment due to their inaccurate diagnosis!!!
Comment by Smaranda on August 4, 2008 at 10:00pm
The book you were reading was saying the same thing, regarding affirming and empathizing instead of sympathizing and agreeing, didn't Jay Adams give any scripture references?

I'll try to find some.
Comment by Michael Cornett on October 17, 2008 at 6:51pm
You'll never get to know someone unless you're willing to listen to what they have to say. I'm really tuned into music as well as teaching, blogs, words of wisdom and knowledge from the Lord as great opportunities to gain insight into a person's spirit and soul. You can almost feel their passion and empathize with them if what's important to them is already on your heart as well. I'll find myself with tears in my eyes listening to a song or ready a message or blog from someone. God is so good !!!!

Most people who have just been born-again are always asking God to do things for them, to fix their circumstances and restore what's broken in their lives. As we age, we realize how important it is to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. He's our councilor and connection with our Heavenly Father. He interprets what the Father is saying, just as Jesus did when he walked the earth. For us to be like Jesus, we too must listen to God and follow His lead in all things. We can be used to help each other is we will only listen and do what God tells us to do in each instance.

I don't worry if people like me or what I'm saying anymore, because I've got to do the Lord's work and it will only affect those the Father's called to Him. I used to worry that people wouldn't like my music or teaching, but now I realize that I'm not doing it for the ones who disagree with me but for those God is ministering to through me. I'm now more concerned about eternal issues rather than temporal, fleeting circumstances that will always be changing. Sometimes the problems we talk about aren't the real issue that God is dealing with in our lives. Symptoms don't always lead us to the root of the problem. If we address the symptoms and not the root of the problem, then the symptoms will always return again and again.

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