"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

Don’t be a Tim Taylor

If we’re lucky, the people in our group will talk with us about the difficult things that are happening in their lives. As small group leaders, we’re intelligent and experienced people and often we think that we can see what they should do to solve or at least mitigate the problem(s). When I was younger, I was pretty smart for my age and thought I had all of the answers. I usually had good advice and helpful thoughts, if only people would listen… The problem was that I was a Tim Taylor. First off, I would often start offering advice before someone even finished talking. I didn’t have all of the facts and already I was “fixing” someone.
The other problem with my approach to solving the world’s problems was that I didn’t realize that people don’t always want fixing. People share problems or difficulties for a number of reasons, sometimes they want advice or insight, but I’ve learned that more often, they just want to connect to someone and feel heard. Feeling that you are being heard is valuable and healing. Being fixed often creates resentment and frustration. In true Tim Taylor fashion, our ill-timed good intentions can cause more problems than they solve and often require apologies.
Next time someone starts talking with you, realize that they may just want to heal a bit and talk about what’s happening. They probably do want to feel heard and probably don’t want to be fixed. Resist the urge to be a Tim Taylor and ‘fix’ them. Instead listen and recognize that by listening completely and fully first, you are a part of the healing process for that person. From there if you have thoughts or advice, be careful and sparing with your words. Don’t try to fix them or your results are likely to be like Tim’s and who wants that? 🙂


May 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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