Monday, February 4, 2019

The art of discussion

Yesterday having been the biggest sporting event of the year, I am totally happy to report that the closest I got to the "Super Bowl" was the bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup that my beautiful bride made for us last night..  It was in fact a "super" bowl of soup.     Although I didn't gain anything from the Super Bowl, I did gain some super information yesterday morning from my pastor.  I didn't get out since I had been running a fever for a couple days and thought it would be best to stay home and not spread whatever cold I had with everyone else.  So, since we didn't get out,  the wife and I decided to watch our Sunday morning gathering live on the internet.  Yep, we partner with one of those, big city churches that has technology and stuff.  I'm sure glad we do.  If not, we would have missed a real nugget of information yesterday. 

Connect before you correct

Here in the South folks have always been willing to speak their minds and willing to listen to what others have to say also.   I have made a posts about the old men that sit around the local restaurants and just talk, argue, and laugh.  Here in my neck of the woods, open discussion has never been much of a problem until recent years.  I'm afraid that tradition is all but gone.    A few days ago a friend posted an opinion on facebook that involved politics.  Everyone knows that's a good way to start a fight.  She made a simple statement, that if anyone knows her well, would know that she has a heart of pure gold and had good reason for her opinion.   The mob of people that were quick to jump on her ready to fight, didn't want to hear her heart.  They didn't care to hear her reason.  They didn't want discussion.   They wanted her to be silent.    The art of discussion is truly lost.   Most people have no concept how to listen,  process thought,  and then logically respond.   The majority that engage in any form of debate listen simply to respond,  not to understand.   To put it plainly,  no one cares to "understand". They just care to "win" said debate.   Unfortunately there are no winners on either side when this happens.

God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk.

Now that brings me back to my "super" information,  "Connect before you correct".  We must be intentional in our efforts to connect with the people around us.  It is normal for me to be a bit of an observer, taking note of the people and places that surround us. Before I engage in a situation, I like to be aware of what I getting into.  This has always been for my own protection, both physically and mentally.  The lesson that pastor Matt taught yesterday put that into a new perspective for me.  We must learn to listen beyond the face of the words of those that disagree with us.  If we do not attempt to connect with and have an understanding of where they are coming from then we have no chance to correct where they are going.   

The old saying goes,  no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.  Next time you see a political post that you disagree with or a person with a different view on life, or even a person who doesn't see faith in the same manner, don't be quick to attempt to correct them.   Make sure that you take a minute to observe there life, invest some time,  build a relationship, and earn that right to correct them.   

In no way will you ever change someone's politics by calling them stupid.  You will never make a addict clean by telling them to "get some help".  You will not help someone who is struggling financially by telling them to "get a job".  You will never change someone's view of Christ unless they can view the love of Christ in your life and interactions with them.

We would all do well to hone our listening skills so we can better understand others.  The best way to help our neighbors is to invest into their lives.  The best way to change the polarization that is happening in our country is by caring about each other. The best way to show the love of Christ is by "Connection".  

Until next time:  Be Safe. Be Careful. Behave. Don’t Do Anything Illegal, Immoral, Unethical, Or Just Plain Stupid.  


Non nobis Domine


1 comment:

  1. Well said. Quick to listen, slow to speak is a good saying that your blog brought to mind.


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