"Walking in Someone Else's Shoes"
August 1, 2022 | View PDF
I am not sure how many of you have watched the movie "Freaky Friday" with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan, where a mother and her teenage daughter exchange bodies. It's a hilarious comedy where they both get to experience what it's like to be the other person and their day-to-day situations.
This movie reminds me of how powerful it is having the opportunity to understand other people. We have this opportunity in our lives every day. And yet, how many of us take the opportunity? We don't need to be quite as extreme as exchanging bodies, but we can step into other peoples' shoes, metaphorically speaking.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
Stepping into other people's shoes enables great communication to take place, even under difficult circumstances. Many of the problems we experience daily are due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. One of the best ways to improve communication and break down any barriers is to understand other people. Once we truly consider things from another's perspective and understand what inspires them in their own beliefs, fears, hopes, joys, and challenges, then interpersonal relationships can improve dramatically.
Stepping into the shoes of another and learning what it's like for them in their day-to-day life is a great opportunity for you to grow personally and benefit from powerful communication. So how do you step into their shoes?
I suggest having an awareness that you able to step into another’s shoes. Perhaps, instead of just jumping ahead with any communication, whether written or verbal, I invite you to stop and consider what it's like in the other person's shoes. If appropriate, you may choose to spend some time gaining a better understand of them by asking some questions and listening to their responses fully.
One of the greatest lessons God has taught me is that “I don’t know what I don’t know.” In addition, God is often willing to teach us if we open our hearts, mind, and mouth. Then, humbly ask Him to show us. You may quickly learn that it may not be an easy lesson. In fact, if you had realized the pain before the gain, you might not have signed up for this class at all. Walking a mile or even a minute in someone else’s shoes gives you a new perspective and often appreciation for the life they live, the ways they serve and suffer, and the blessings you have. Most importantly, it shows us how God provides all we need in everything He calls us to do and go through.