We arrive at dismissive and ill-informed conclusions about other people when we refuse to sit down with them and talk through our differences.
If we can listen to someone without needing to correct them as the goal of our interaction, we will accomplish two things. First, we will honor them as someone created in God’s image by merely giving them an audience and considering their opinion worthy of our engagement. Secondly, when we enter another person’s personal intellectual space honestly seeking to understand them, we will be offered an opportunity to expand our limited understanding of reality. This is especially true when it refers to someone we had previously stood in opposition to in a place of uninformed disagreement.
I think this might be one way forward in 2021. In 2020 many of us were busy demanding that our position be heard. We were so busy speaking and posting our limited understanding that we missed some strategic relational opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom with people we had prematurely dismissed because they did toe the line with our interpretation of reality.