I read comments all the time that I don’t understand. I don’t understand them because they generally come from Christians who are both intelligent and capable of empathy.
A person criticizes “contemporary” worship by saying the only thing the worship leader cares about is looking hip and being cool. Someone else argues that pastors today care about being “authentic” while previous generations did not. Another person says some Christians care more about hate than Jesus.
Shouldn’t Christians do a better job of listening to other people? (And here — in case there is any confusion — I include myself. Shouldn’t I do a better job?)
Is there really any worship leader who has as his or her primary goal “being hip”? Did pastors in 1930 want to be in-authentic? Would any Christian claim that his or her primary interest was in hating other people?
Every thing I’ve ever been taught about effective communication starts with listening. It starts with being able to hear a person clearly enough that we can state back to that person what they said in a way that they would recognize as their own words and meaning.
I think it is a close to universal desire of people to be listened to when they are trying to say something. Isn’t it — therefore — a Christian imperative to be good listeners? We do for others what we would wish them to do for us.
Listening does not require agreement. But does not Jesus require us to listen to each other?