Choosing to Listen

The recent publicity surrounding Chick-Fil-A has certainly been a controversial subject. People from both sides of this issue seemed to be compelled to take a stand for their beliefs. Unfortunately, most of what was being debated was only part of the story. Many rushed to judgment without hearing the other group’s side. This has been my experience with Christians as a whole, and it was this attitude that kept me from discovering the true nature of God for many years.

I do not support same-sex marriage, but I do not think I have the right to demand that others choose to live by my beliefs. We are all given the freedom to choose life or death, blessing or cursing. We as Christians, however, have a further responsibility to reach out to those who have chosen to walk down the path to destruction with love and compassion. We cannot possibly do this if we do not take the time to understand why they are choosing to walk down that path. When Jesus walked this earth, He did not condone sin. That being said, He did not come out in anger against those that were lost. He reached out to the sinner and gave them the truth with compassion and love. He reserved His anger for the religious leaders who were pointing their finger at everyone else while they themselves were guilty of many sins. Listening to others point of view is not tolerance and doesn’t mean that we condone their beliefs; it is gathering information so that we understand how to better reach out to them with the truth.

A good friend recently shared and article on facebook that a good friend of hers posted.  If you are courageous and truly seek to stand up for your beliefs, I challenge you to read it with an open mind and a compassionate heart.  http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288

This article broke my heart. It broke my heart to see that this man is lost and truly feels that the Christian community has failed to walk by the beliefs we say we have. It led me to realize that we truly need to do our homework and not simply base our beliefs on what the media is putting out there. It has challenged me to look more closely at this subject and gather more information before rushing off to defend my beliefs. I believe he is deceived, but there is no way to reach him with the truth because he feels his side of the argument has not been heard. For the last few weeks I have watched facebook explode with this controversy. Most of the comments made have clearly shown that most people have not gotten all the facts before expressing their opinion. I have seen posts of extreme sarcasm coming from both sides. Sarcasm is hate, by the way! It is one of the most vicious forms of hate I have seen. Sarcasm belittles others and strips away their dignity! It has become socially acceptable to use sarcasm as a way to express our beliefs. We as Christians should not be using sarcasm to make our point; we are called to a higher standard. We should know better! There have been a few that have shared their truth in love; that is not what I’m talking about here.

Many of you may disagree with me, but again I challenge you to make the time to pray and examine yourself and learn the facts before rushing to judgment. Matthew 7:4-5 “4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” We will not win over anyone to the truth if we refuse to listen to them and simply demand that they see things our way.  If we continue to speak out and insist that we are right without getting all our facts straight, others will cease to listen and we lose any chance of being heard. The world is watching us and we need to be mindful of the message we are sending.

What message do you want to send today?

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