of the more challenging skills in the age of social media is
Listening is more than reading or hearing their words. It’s not a tool for finding fault with their statements or for winning arguments. In fact, listening reduces the need for actual arguments.
I was in a situation where someone and I saw things differently.
“Well, that’s hypocritical,” I muttered under my breath.
“Well, that’s one option,” Father whispered back. “What are some other options?”
(I hold that when God speaks, power is released in his words. So, among other things, when he asks me a question, I now have more power to answer the question than I did before he spoke.)
So we discussed other possibilities for why people do things I don’t understand.
• Yeah, hypocrisy is an option, though it’s probably less frequent than I imagine.
• Lack of knowledge. They may not know the things I know, so they are unequipped to come to my conclusions.
• Lack of awareness. This is a big one. Sometimes people have access to the data I have, but their attention is on other things. I confess I had to fight back the response of “How dare they!” but I quickly realized that their focus is almost certainly different than my focus.
• Different personal issues. The things going on in them, through which they consider the issue, are likely different than my issues. I know some folks who are tough to reason with before coffee. Or when they’re hungry. Or when their emotions are high.
• Different core beliefs. I believe (very intentionally) that God is good, that the best explanation of what he’s like is Jesus. Other people don’t know this yet, and so they’ll interpret “acts of God” much differently than I will.
The lesson is: listen and you might learn something. You might understand someone. You might end up wiser than you were before you listened.