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A hero is a person noted for courageous acts of nobility or character. Many times, courageous acts are sacrificial in nature, benefitting someone else. When the word “hero” is used, we often think about fictional movie or TV characters. Perhaps our thoughts go to someone who’s been highlighted on the local news for giving of their time and energy to help their community. We may also turn to Biblical examples of people who took risks or stood firm in uncomfortable or undesirable situations for the benefit of others or to honor God’s calling in their lives. Of course, the ultimate act of heroism was what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Dramatic or life-threatening actions are not the only kind that qualify as heroism, though. In our places of work or ministry, or even at home, who are the heroes in our everyday lives? And how can we be the hero for others?
Be a Generous Listener.
James 1:19 encourages us, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” On average, we spend 70 to 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication. Of that time, we spend about 9 percent writing, 16 percent reading, 30 percent speaking, and 45 percent listening. Studies also confirm that most of us are poor and inefficient listeners. One of the reasons for this is that our thought speed is faster than our speaking speed. This means we need to make an intentional effort to listen carefully. If we don’t concentrate, we soon find that our minds have turned to other ideas.
Just think what a difference it could make if we were to hold back our racing thoughts, so that we can truly hear not only what the other person is saying, but why they are saying it. When we can empathize and validate the feelings behind what the person is saying, even if sacrificing our human desires to speak over one another, we add energy and encouragement to that person.
Serve in Your Area of Strength.
Psalm 90:17 tells us that God has established our vocation, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” We are all unique in our spiritual gifts, natural talents, and learned abilities. And when we use these to serve others with excellence in our area of our strength, especially at our own expense or even potential detriment, we become an everyday hero to the person we serve.
For example, a creative person with no interest in numbers may see his or her accountant as a hero every time another year rolls around and it’s time to file their tax return. An IT service provider is a hero to the technologically challenged person who can’t figure out why his computer or phone won’t do what he wants it to do.
What makes a hero is not size, stature, or supernatural powers.
What matters is doing what we can to listen generously and to pursue excellence in the work we are called to carry out. These are just two of many ways we can be everyday heroes. Be on the lookout for the ways that others are serving. Thank them and tell them, “You’re my hero!”
At Ambassador Advisors, one of our core values is “demonstrating expertise,” serving our clients and fellow team members. We strive toward excellence in listening to and serving our clients and fellow team members. Give us a call today to let us know what we can do to be your hero!
https://extension2.missouri.edu/cm150 “Listening: Our Most Used Communications Skill”
https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do “What Great Listeners Actually Do”
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