The Hard Listen

If you’re not listening to those with whom you disagree, perhaps maybe even don’t like… you’re not listening.

Consider: every prophet whom God really, truly, actually sent to Israel and Judah brought words the very chosen people of God did not want to hear.

This is not to say every voice and word contains and delivers equal and full truth worthy of application in your or other’s lives, not at all. The issue is listening. It has been rightly said/written plenty that sometimes our “enemies” helped us more than our friends.

See, in getting (Book of Proverbs statements) knowledge, wisdom and understanding, well, these things all take big ears, time, often quite a long time indeed. Hearing, reading, watching, truly listening costs us patience we often don’t wish to apply. We sometimes shy away from study instead running to the “quick fix” as only hanging out with those who agree with us feels more comfortable, comforting.

Now- do I “buy” every rap coming my way? Am I to be in total agreement (sometimes it may seem -any- agreement?) with someone simply because they are created in God’s image and communicate? Of course not!! See, this is partly why I never expect people will always agree with me.

The humility factor looms so very large, the sense of us rather than only me and those I love, the reality nobody on this planet has full and complete understanding about anything as God Himself alone does all figures in to what I’m saying here.

If one’s mental health and well-being is such that breaks from folks and concepts that seem to just torment are needed, I truly get and agree with finding and creating space, distancing ourselves off and on. And yet our tribal and often bunker mentality, living in our emotions and sometimes stubborn-for-the-sake-of-stubborn attitudes torpedo our ability to listen and therefore rightly learn.

Does, did God Himself ever say anything we’d rather not hear?!

By the way, my own conviction of spiritual gifting and calling from Him (evangelist, general missionary service) has shaped my deep commitment to what I’m writing here. How do we love people if only shutting our hearts and ears to them? How do we “make room for one another” even within a local fellowship much less in the wide world unless we are willing to deal with these issues and people -gracefully- though perhaps at times in deep disagreement?

Things to consider along the path of a maturing disciple of Jesus.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


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