How Can I Get a Listening Ear?
1 In the city of Philippi, “a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, . . . was listening, and Jehovah opened her heart wide to pay attention to the things being spoken by Paul.” (Acts 16:14) What does this account teach us? Listening is what opens the door to a person’s learning the truth. Our success in sharing the Kingdom message depends primarily on the willingness of the householder to listen. Once we have a hearing ear, it is relatively easy to present our message. But getting someone to listen can be a challenge. What can we do?
2 Before sharing in the service, we should give attention to our appearance and the equipment we will be using. Why? People are more inclined to listen to someone who presents himself with dignity. Are we dressed tastefully yet modestly? Although sloppiness may be popular in the world, we avoid such carelessness because we are ministers representing God’s Kingdom. Our clean and neat appearance adds favorable testimony to the Kingdom message we preach.
3 Be Friendly and Respectful: In spite of today’s changing attitudes, many people still have regard for the Bible and will respond favorably to a respectful and friendly conversation about what the Bible contains. A warm, genuine smile can put the householder at ease and open the way for a pleasant discussion. Our sincerity and good manners should also be reflected in our speech and conduct, which includes our listening respectfully to the observations of the householder.
4 Our purpose is to share the Bible’s hope with others. With this in mind, we should be sure that our conversation is appealing, not adversarial or challenging. There is no need to waste time arguing with a person who is clearly opposed. (2 Tim. 2:23-25) We can select from a wide variety of encouraging and timely presentations provided for us in Our Kingdom Ministry and the Reasoning book. Of course, we need to prepare these well so that we can speak in a warm and convincing manner.—1 Pet. 3:15.
5 After our visit, few householders are able to remember exactly what we said. However, virtually all of them can remember the manner in which it was spoken. We should never underestimate the power of goodness and kindness. Surely there are many sheeplike people in our territory who will give a listening ear to the truth just as Lydia did in the first century. Giving careful attention to our appearance and manner of speech can encourage sincere ones to listen to God’s Word and favorably receive it.—Mark 4:20.