by Kim Larsen
Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measured you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I read an article last week that has really made me stop and think and ask myself some hard questions. Self – examination hurts doesn’t it? So here is the question. Do we as humans listen to understand, or rather to respond? We tend to respond not to what a person actually says, but rather what we hear them saying. What we want them to say so that we can experience the “high” of being “right” rather than being wrong. I think that we assume that we understand what someone is saying and cut them off to defend ourselves before we let them finish their thought. Do you have certain people in your life that you find conversation difficult? I find it very difficult sometimes to communicate with one of my own kids! I actually had to apologize this week after I learned about this. When I stopped and actually listened to understand rather to jump to conclusions I found that I was at fault. Isn’t the core of this really judging another person? Thinking more highly of oneself than we ought to? We spend so much time talking past one another and thus artificially increasing disagreement rather than really trying to understand what a person is saying and decreasing disagreement. Since reading about this, I have tried to remember this when I am talking with others and I have found it to be true. Each of us – myself included needs to ask ourselves a couple of questions.
Do I actually want to hear and understand anybody that exists outside of myself? Am I willing to change my opinion on an issue if someone shares with me information or logic that I didn’t previously take into account? Is my goal to understand and grow and change for the better, or is my goal to defend my position regardless of any additional information or insight? It’s food for thought isn’t it? Especially in the times in which we live. There are many things that I don’t understand about people of another cultural or religion. There are so many hot issues that I think it would be prudent to listen to understand rather than try to defend an insecurity, or our preconceived ideas.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. This is our work. If we judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Corinthians 11:31