Seeking first to understand then to be understood, is an important habit to develop and carry with you. It means to truly listen to what the other person is saying and not to zone out. It also means to not bring the conversation or “spot light” back to yourself, but to give the other person time to finish explaining before you jump in and give advice. It means to listen with empathy not trying to change the subject. It is an act of humility and compassion for the other person.
An example from the Bible is the story the Good Samaritan. Jesus tells of a man traveling to Jerusalem, who was attacked, robbed and left at the side of the road. Three other people went down that road, but only the third helped the man.This good Samaritan sought first to understand the needs of the beaten man instead of focusing on where he wanted to be.
It is important to be like the good Samaritan and to show this habit in our daily lives. In doing this, we will be good ambassadors for Christ and let His light shine through us.
Written by Monica K. a grade 7 student
We can't always worry about ourselves! I mean how would you feel if someone went on about themselves and never let you into the conversation? Rather, we should think, what can I do to please others? Not, what can I do to please myself? If someone tells you that he lost his grandma to cancer yesterday, you don't change the conversation and tell them that you got the new IPhone Xr. You instead show them empathy. You show them that you are there for them and care for them. I think if we seek first to understand instead of wanting to be understood first and foremost, we’ll feel better in the end and we will honour the Lord in our relationships.
An explanation by William E. a grade 8 student
An example of what it is to seek first to understand and then to be understood, by Colton A.
Steve is walking to the park. He sees some boys playing basketball. He wants to play, but he’s not sure how to play. He decides to wait and watch the first game and then play the next one. Steve does the smart thing. Because he sat out and learned to understand the game, he was able to play with knowledge and have much more fun!