“Hey! How are you?”

“I’m good! And yourself?”

We speak these words most of the time without even really thinking. It’s become a standard greeting, almost as second nature as breathing.

I’ve noticed though, that very rarely do we ever take the time to listen, REALLY listen, to what is on the other side of the greeting.

Well, what do you mean? They said they were good. I said I was good. Obviously what’s on the other side of the greeting is the fact that I have 3 papers to write, a house to clean, a relationship that’s spiraling out of control, a sick parent, and a million volunteer hours I need to complete.  I do not have TIME to stand here and small talk about stupid things.

But you’re good right? So I am sure that they are “good” too.

We’ve become masters at revealing only a part of ourselves to the world. And we’ve also become satisfied with receiving half-truths from others. It makes our lives easier. It’s less messy, it takes up less time, and overall it makes us all feel a little less awkward and vulnerable.

Unfortunately, although this may seem easier, it also creates shallow relationships and puts us in a place to be susceptible to loneliness and unfulfilling friendships. We have  not opened ourselves up to receive encouragement.

Proverbs 18:13 says: “He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame.” Meaning, it isn’t enough to give a standard answer. Meaning, sometimes it is just as important to hear what ISN’T being as it is to hear what IS. 

Someone may SEEM fine, but most of the time when we say that we are “good” or “fine” we are really praying that underneath it all someone will take the time to peel back our protective layers and see us for who we really are and where we are really at. That someone will take the time to really see us.

It’s scary to put yourself out there. To take a risk in this “How are you? Good? GOOD!” society that someone actually wants to hear how you REALLY are, devoid of the plastic answers and brave faces.

Which is why maybe at the beginning it’s not up to them, it’s up to you. Maybe THEY don’t really care how you are under it all. But to not care how they are doing at their core, to not see the pain behind a smile, is to miss out on what we are called to do as the hands and feet of Jesus. If you want people to care about you, start caring about them.

It starts with you. It starts with me. We are responsible for a movement of people who care enough to see pain lingering behind a smile. We are called to love people we have only just met. To listen, to pray, to cry with them… to hear what isn’t being said.

Romans 12:10 says that we are to give one another genuine affection and to give preference to others.  It does not say that we are to give preference to our schedules or to our comfort zones. We were never created to walk through this life alone. In fact, God himself said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

Jesus always reached out to those who were hurting. He never rushed away from them because it could get messy or because His schedule was too full. We are called to be like Him. We are called to follow His example and to love people where they are at, even if it’s in the middle of their pain.

Let’s not settle for “good” anymore.

 

-Coleen York

Coleen York

Coleen York is the founder and editor of She Has Worth. She works as a freelance copywriter and editor, so feel free to hire her so she has employment. Additionally, she enjoys being outside, traveling, dinosaurs, art, Oreos, slurpees, and coffee (but not all together, that would probably be gross). Read more about Coleen in the "Our Team" section of She Has Worth.

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