The problem with listening

Too often I listen, but I don’t hear.

That’s because, at times (and with some people) when they’re speaking, I’m thinking about how I’m going to respond. (My wife will tell you this happens a lot.) On the otherlistening hand, it happens most often when I tell myself, “This nut who doesn’t agree with me or see the error of their thinking needs straightened out”.

As they’re speaking I’m not hearing. I’m waiting for a chance to share my “right and righteous” reply. My goal becomes straightening out those who disagrees with me by sharing my wisdom and self-righteousness, using my vast wisdom,  knowledge and understanding of 2 Timothy 3:15:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

With some people I’m more concerned that this confused and errant person who disagrees with me might discover how wrong they are and how right and righteous I am.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, this judgemental, vitriolic “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitude has gripped our culture. Judgement, acrimony and holier-than-thou attitudes have replaced civilized debate.

As such, I believe we miss opportunities to cultivate relationships with those who disagree with us, think differently from us or worship differently from us.  Muslims and atheists come to mind.  In our diverse surroundings we encounter folks every day who think, act, dress or worship differently from us.

My blogging buddy, Mel Wild had this to say in a recent post over on his blog, In My Father’s House called “What Atheists wish Christians knew about them

“…while they don’t believe like us, they still have worth to God, so they should have worth to us. We, of all people, should know that (John 3:16). When we stop treating them like “evangelistic projects” and listen to what they have to say, love can take place. And where there is love, there is God.”

What does God’s love look like in ouCor daily lives? Does God’s love extend to others who believe differently from us, or just to those we already love and associate with in our circle of influence?

 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: (This is important to James, speaking to dear friends and admonishing them to “tale note” of this.) EVERYone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

Come back to For His Glory tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about angels. Do you believe in angels?

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One thought on “The problem with listening

  1. Pingback: The problem with listening | Daily Bread

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