Can You Hear Me Now?
I wrote a couple of months ago about how hard it is to see the Church attacked from within. It still makes me sad when I see it, and there are times when it will compel me to do something I normally try to stay away from: I’ll say something about it on social media. Now some of you may engage in such courses of action regularly and fearlessly, but I’m the classic middle child in that I will do all I can to avoid confrontation. (We’re like mini-United Nations, y’all.) So for me to speak up means I’m feeling particularly passionate about something.
Such was the case recently when I pointed out to someone I thought they were unfairly putting every Christian in a negative light. We went back and forth for a bit, even both stating perhaps we had to agree to disagree.
But, thankfully, the conversation didn’t end there.
Eventually, we got to the point where we were both able to say and then hear where we were each coming from. We saw what was shading our speech, as inaudible mumbles became clearly heard words. We extended and received grace.
That’s not to say we’re on exactly the same page. But I believe we both came away from our conversation with a mutual understanding of where we both stood on at least a couple of things. And it was accomplished without us being idiots or becoming enemies in the process.
The thing is there are times when it can be easy to be wounded or angered or offended in some way by the words and/or actions of others. But sometimes the best thing we can do is keep talking, even if it feels like we’re just repeating ourselves ad nauseam. Because we may finally say things in such a way so the other person can hear what we’ve been trying to say all along. And they, likewise, will hear us.
It’s pretty sweet when it works out that way.
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. - James 1:19 (The Message)