‘He gave them his attention, expecting to receive.’ Acts 3:5 NKJV
You can’t help someone until they’re ready. That calls for knowing the difference between those who are looking for solutions, and those who may just be looking for sympathy. Before the lame man at the temple gate received his healing, ‘he gave Peter and John his attention, expecting to receive something from them.’
Note two important words:
(1) ‘Attention.’ Have you got the other person’s attention? Are they really hearing what you say, or are they so blinded by circumstances and emotion that they can’t see a way out, even though you’re clearly pointing them to it?
(2) ‘Expecting.’ The most effective thing you can do to help somebody is to build their faith. And that takes patience. One leader writes frankly about his problem with impatience when working with others: ‘Early in my career I wanted to do things as quickly as possible and move on to the next thing. If someone didn’t want to move at my speed, I breezed right past him or her. But that leadership style hindered my ability to connect with others, and my relationships suffered. The good news was that I moved fast. The bad news was that I often moved alone. Moving at the speed of another person can be exhausting. It obviously takes energy to keep up with someone who’s moving faster than we are. But isn’t it also tiring to move at a slower pace than we want to?… I find it very frustrating. It tries my patience. However, if I want to connect with people, I have to be willing to slow down and go at someone else’s pace.’ And to help people, you must be willing to do the same.