Trait: “I can keep listening and explore another’s feelings, experiences and point of view even when I disagree with them.
Before I get started, two quick announcements:
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- Call for silent auction items: Our non-profit organization is having our annual fundraiser on November 3rd to raise funds to help pastors and Christian leaders receive marital counseling who would otherwise be unable to pay for counseling. Items desired, golf packages, weekend retreats, spa packages, vacation time shares and other items that would be attractive to a guest at the banquet. If you would like to know more about our 501 (C ) 3 corporation, you can visit www.relationship180.com. Thanks for considering my request.
The Apostle James tells us, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19).” The more insecure we are, the harder this verse is to apply. Insecurity does not want to rock the boat because turbulence is frightening. It is easier for all discussions to stay in the safe zone where the seas of my soul only experience fair weather sailing.
Last week, our Pastor Rick Warren was invited to speak at a local Islamic mosque as a part of the Muslim holy event of Ramadan. Wow… what an honor! In my humble opinion, the only reason that he gained this entre, was because he is secure enough to listen to another’s point of view. Recently, he said in a sermon that because he quietly listens and asks questions, his courtesy gains respect and he is eventually offered opportunities to speak his own views.
The other key factor that allows the secure person to listen well, is that they are comfortable and tolerant of differing views. They do not demand that others think exactly as they do. They can tolerate differences of opinion instead of requiring conformity to have peace. I stand amazed as I observe the relationship between CNN contributors Mary Matalin and James Carville who were married in 1993. Mary is far right and James is far left on the political spectrum and often debate in public, but somehow are in love with one another. As Pastor Rick says, our goal is “to learn to walk hand in hand without having to see eye to eye.”
The ultimate test of this trait of the secure connector was demonstrated last week as a delegation of people from our church had a booth at the national conference on AIDS / HIV. In past years, Saddleback was the only church represented. Make no mistake, Pastor Rick is not soft on the Bible’s position about sexuality, but one atheist who attended the conference said that their love and welcoming attitude was attractive and unique at the conference. How about you? Can you have convictions and strong beliefs and yet be able to “keep listening and explore another’s feelings, experiences and point of view even when you disagree with them?”
Thanks for listening.