“How are you?”
That question is asked quite frequently of all of us.
Typically the question is just another form of greeting. “Hey, how are ya?” and in the very next breath the inquirer is onto the next subject, without hardly allowing you the chance to try to answer the question. Since we’ve been trained that most people don’t truly want to know how we’re doing, and that they question is merely a conversation filler, we typically reply with, “I’m good” or “I’m doing alright”.
Sadly our world is so rushed and hurried that very few of us slow down to listen, much less care about the response to the question.
Someone might respond “I’m okay”, but their life might falling apart.
Someone might respond “I’m fine”, but they’ll head home and shed tears because their heart is breaking.
Someone might respond “I’m hanging in there”, but they are hanging on by a thread.
Beloved, as the body of Christ we are commanded to love one another.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” – John 13:34
A part of us loving one another well is by taking the time to not only ask that question, but to listen to the response. Ask probing questions. Slow down. Actively listen. Show compassion. Don’t be afraid to get messy in relationships. The best relationships are between people that are willing to be vulnerable, that are willing to share the good, bad and ugly with one another.
C.S. Lewis was on point with the following quote:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Brothers and sisters, I urge you – love one another well in this area!