I had a wonderful talk with a young woman yesterday who is a mom, lawyer, and a Christian. We talked about politics, race relations, the church, and more. Although she is much younger than me and we’d never had a conversation before, we talked civilly and openly about some sensitive subjects.
One thing I noticed about this young woman was she didn’t come into the conversation assuming she had the “right position” on said sensitive subjects. Everything she shared was spoken thoughtfully, humbly, and considerately. Another thing that helped our conversation was her stance on stances. Apart from Jesus being her Lord and Savior, she wasn’t going to argue with, label, or demonize people.
Besides that, the only other thing she seemed passionate about was the one variable that allows her to talk about sensitive topics without working herself or others into a lather.
She wants to listen well.
Her goal in listening is not to judge people, determine their political affiliation, or ascertain their opinion on masks. She doesn’t meet with people from different religious, political, and ethnic backgrounds to share her wisdom (though she is incredibly intelligent, accomplished, experienced, and successful). She intentionally meets with others in her community who are different from her,
Simply to listen and learn.
Can listening to people tell them about Christ? Maybe not directly, but listening to others can make them feel valued and loved. Listening can reflect the heart of Christ to an unbelieving world, definitely better than trying to enlighten, convince, or change them. And listening to others, just to learn from and love them, always helps the listener grow in compassion, understanding, and wisdom.
What did this card-carrying AARP-er learn from a beautiful, wise millennial yesterday? How to look and listen more like Jesus;
thoughtfully, humbly, and considerately.