Listen

 

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When we answer before listening, we prove to others that we are both stupid and rude.
Dallas and Nancy Demmitt Can You Hear Me Now? (2003)

According to God, we are supposed to love everyone, even our enemies. Yet half the time we won’t even listen to our friendly acquaintances, much less our enemies.  When we tune people out, we are being very unloving. Yes, it can be hard to listen to your enemies, but how can we ever attempt to make peace if we don’t?

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
― Winston S. Churchill

No one knows everything, and everyone knows something.
I have to admit that I have from time to time tuned certain people out, assuming that they were either uninformed or misinformed. Which can be the case, but it is wrong to tune them out. There is one politician for example that has become famous precisely because she is under-informed and often seems to make up answers on the fly when she has no idea what she is talking about. Yet the other day she made a comment that was wildly intelligent, while I still believe she meant for her comment to be taken differently, she proved that she can be right. I even saw a video yesterday posted by a five-time felon who gave many people a lesson on tolerance. You never know where the truth will come from, but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to find it.

Proverbs 18:17
The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Yes, we are to listen to others, but we should be discerning while we listen. No one is perfect but God. When anyone else tells you something it is proper to ask questions. Look into it for yourselves.

One of the best debate tactics is to find common ground with the person you are debating, and built on that common ground. Something like: Can we both agree that already born children are valuable? Can be a good foundation to build a discussion on abortion. If you are unwilling to listen to people who oppose your ideas, you will not be able to find common ground.

Sometimes we use phrases like “fake news” to shut people down. Do you really know that it is fake news, or do you like the opposing view so much that you just hope it is fake news? If you don’t know for sure, find out.  While some stories are fake, it isn’t the fact that we don’t like the story that makes it fake, it’s twisting the truth, one-sided bias, and it’s total failure to match reality.

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