Asking, Listening, Filling, and Being Filled

We all need to be heard. It is a basic need, as necessary as eating and sleeping. We also desire affirmation. How can we listen and also be heard, and affirm as well as be affirmed. Listen to a lesson my father taught me twenty years ago.

Video Length: 3 minutes and 44 seconds


13 Responses to Asking, Listening, Filling, and Being Filled

  1. Alex Thompson says:

    Sam, this is so right on and so well done. I’ve been aware of this subconsciously for quite a while and wanting to be more like this, but as I get into a conversation, before I know it, I’m focused more on me talking rather than drawing the other person out. I want so much to affirm and validate others, but I think the validation hole in me is such a black hole that it sucks me back in before I’m even aware of it. Another thought though is that there is something mysterious that happens when I validate others — it’s reflected back, and the fulfillment and satisfaction is there for me, and even deeper because I’ve been able to give rather than take. What a fortunate man you are to have had an earth- father who has validated and affirmed. That tells me a lot about why you are such a validating man today. But the Lord has recently been filling that black hole for me in some incredible ways. I’ll send the story to you in a separate email as it it too long for this forum.

    • Alex, I love what you see here. And, yes, I especially love how our validation of others is “reflected back and the fulfillment and satisfaction is there for us.”

      That is just the way it works. When we walk into the call of Christ, it reflects back at us. We are filled so we can go out and fill, and then it bounces back and we are filled more.

      I loved getting to know you at the weekend. And I love the heart I see in your comments.

      Your brother,


  2. David Guyor says:

    Sam, I love this story. I remember you telling me this story in person, and it’s just as good here.

    Alot of the power of someone listening to someone else is the fact that it is simply so rare!

    Becky and I have come to define loneliness as NOT being by yourself. No. Most of us are always with others, usually in crowds.

    We define loneliness as not being known. We “know” a lot of people, and they “know” us, but really, in my experience almost no one has really ever been known, been heard, as you say.

    You nailed it.

  3. Peter S. Williamson says:

    Great post, Sam! Good insight.

    Also good to remember Dad at this time and his humility and goodness which becomes clearer with the distance of time.

  4. Derek says:

    Sam, you’re wrong. You ARE a great conversationalist. Conversation is less about “ME” and more about drawing the heart of others. You do that well. You find significance in others through your approach and others (in professional and personal relationships) will want to open up based on your compassionate heart. It’s not an interrogation with you. It’s an invitation.

    Loved this video and your words. Definitely something to share!

  5. Mark says:

    Thanks Sam! What a great gift from your dad. So few people ask questions and yet it is the art of the best communicators and teachers, including the Master Teacher, Jesus.

    • Mark, Great observations. Thanks. Your words reminded me of James 1:19 (which I should have thought of before doing this post): Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak…. Duh!

      Thanks for the words, encouragement, the reminder, and … thanks for listening.


  6. Lyle Regan says:

    Sam, well said my friend. It is so true, I also think that people want / need to be heard. In listening to others, I find that I learn a lot and very often, that person finds relief of some sort from sharing about them selves. I am seeing this played out a lot when I have converstions with some of the men that attended the TP RETREAT IN pa. Listening, what a powerful way to affirm people.”Keep on keeping on.”

  7. Bill English says:


    You are so right on in what God has taught and shown you from your dad about people hurting and wanting to be acknowledge.


  8. Brad says:

    Man, I get most of the way through this one and all I’m thinking about is how to listen to other people or tell other people about whats going on in my life………all good stuff.

    But then you threw in the part about how God is always there too, to listen to us tell about stuff going on in our lives. Good point, something I dont always remember.


    • Brad,

      Great comment and observation. Thanks.

      Yeah, I think you get it too. So often we hear just one more thing to do…so now we have to listen to others more.

      But we need a POWER to do such things, and God always provides it. We can listen because we have inner strength; and we have inner strength because Christ is listening to us all day day. He is saying, “Wow, that’s interesting…all the things going on in your life.”


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