Spending time listening for God’s voice has helped develop in me the ability to listen more carefully to the people in my life.  Through the practice of being fully present to God, I find myself being more fully present to others.  Asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom to know when and what to speak, and when to be silent, He helps me know what is most needed in each moment.

Comparing the quality of my relationships in the past with how I relate now, I see a huge difference.  I used to think my job was to simply follow the ‘relationship rules’ I’d been taught as a child in Sunday school:  be nice, don’t upset people, do for people and make them happy so they think you’re a good Christian and they speak well of you.  Though relating in this way didn’t take much thought, it was exhausting.  Furthermore, this automatic response was not always in others best interest, nor was it always the best demonstration of love and care.

Though I didn’t anticipate this benefit, as I invite God into my relationships I see the immeasurable value His presence and specific direction brings to myself and to the people in my life.  Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38, KJV)  My experience with Christian meditation is that when I spend time in quiet with God, the promise of this verse is more fully realized in my life and relationships than I could have imagined.