I love to watch people. We are super interesting. In the past few years people-watching has not been as entertaining as it used to be. The reason is technology. I am not bashing technology at all. I use it daily. I am typing this – I don’t turn in my articles handwritten. I am talking about how we no longer interact with one another.
People no longer have conversations. Recently, I was dining out with some friends and saw a group of young ladies sit at a table and pull out there phones and proceed to stare at the screen. This blew my mind. They ordered their meal and looked back down at their screens. I wanted to ask them, “Why aren’t you talk to one another?” My wife wouldn’t let me. I was very curious as to why they didn’t speak to one another. I realized that I am guilty of this same thing sometimes. If I meet with someone I try to ignore my cell phone. Every time my phone makes a sound I look at it. I have been convicted about this lately. I have realized when I do this I make the person I am with feel like they are not my priority.
When Jesus meet the rich, young ruler he showed us how to interact with someone. Mark 10:17-22 tells us about this interaction, “17And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” I love what Jesus did here and how Mark points it out. Look at what Jesus does in verse 21. He looks at this guy and he loves him! I think that this is here for a reason. Jesus just took time to make eye contact with this random guy. Jesus made this rich, young ruler his top priority and he showed it by looking at him.
We need to emulate what Jesus did here. Philippians 2:5 says, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,”. If Jesus took time to look this guy in the eyes we should do this with every interaction we have. When our children want to talk to us we need to put down the technology and give them our full attention. When the cashier at whatever store we are at ask about our day, we need to look at them respond and ask about their day. Then we need to listen to what they say. They will know we are listening if they see that we are looking at them. We need to put down what distracts us from other people. Imagine if we were having a conversation and every time I got a text I said, “Hold on. Let me get this.” You wouldn’t think I gave a hoot about what was going on in your life.
When I was taught to cross the street on my own, I was told to Stop, Look, And Listen. Let’s take this same concept and apply it to talking with others. When someone speaks to you, stop what you are doing. Next, look them in the eyes. Now, listen to what they say.
We all have busy lives, but not too busy to love others. We need to show people that loving them is our priority. If showing someone you care is as easy as crossing the street, what is stopping us?