Listening to the other
In my Christian life, I too, have found one or two people who seemed to move all who listened into the throne room of God with their prayers. What a blessing it is to be a part of such prayers.
I believe the state of our nation, when it comes to communicating with one another, is at a point of crisis.. I am not wise enough to be able to place a cause for it except maybe we have never been so deeply divided in our world views. People who place their views on biblical beliefs and those who hold secular world views seem to find little common ground. But the tenor of the conversations show a total distrust in the other side!
I also have a favorite Scripture I try to apply to my conversations, with various levels of success: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
I find myself at times not even listening to the other person, as I start forming my answer even before the other person finishes speaking. It is easy to get caught up in angry responses when speaking about things we care very deeply about.
When I am successful in this, it is when I tell the speaker and myself, “Let me consider what you have said.” Then when I answer, I try to start with what I can agree with in the other person’s viewpoint, then with as much tact as possible, tell them how I do not agree with them. Seems to open the door of communication if the other person is wanting to communicate and not just to beat you up with their words.
Look at Jesus’ example
Interesting concept that these three churches are proceeding on: Ignore Scripture, just get “in line with the example of Christ.”
Let’s look at his example with the woman caught in adultery. He stopped the congregation from throwing stones. That’s good. Then he instructed the woman to sin no more.
He did not extend the boundaries of acceptable behavior within the community to include adultery. Nor, it seems. did he consider the idea of redefining marriage to include multiple partners.
But perhaps Jesus just isn’t inclusive enough.