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  • Writer's pictureBill Berger

Are you listening to a liberal or a conservative?

During this election season, discussions and opinions are heating up. What if we made it a point to actively listen and ask questions to those whose views differ from mine? As a follower of Jesus Christ, it is crucial to align one's thoughts and actions with the teachings and values of Jesus. This does not imply exclusivity; rather, it promotes inclusivity by emphasizing the respectful exchange of ideas and the importance of being both a good listener and a good communicator within any community. The importance of listening is emphasized throughout the Bible, and here are a few reasons why it is considered crucial:


1. The verse from Proverbs 1:5 emphasizes the importance of seeking wisdom and guidance. It suggests that those who are open to learning and understanding will be able to receive guidance. This message serves as a reminder to listen carefully in order to gain wisdom, understanding, and direction from both wise individuals and from God.


2. Relationship with God: The Bible teaches that listening is a crucial part of our relationship with God. In John 10:27, Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." By actively listening to God's Word and His teachings, we can develop a closer relationship with Him and understand His will for our lives.


3. We are encouraged to honor others by listening to them. James 1:19 advises, "Everyone should listen quickly, speak slowly, and not get angry easily." When we actively listen, we show respect, empathy, and love for others. It helps us better understand their needs, concerns, and perspectives.


4. Avoiding Foolishness: Proverbs 18:13 warns, 'To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.' Actively listening helps us avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and hasty judgments. It enables us to better understand situations, make wiser decisions, and steer clear of unnecessary conflict.


5. Learning and Growth: It's amazing how much we can learn from those who hold opposing opinions. While it may be challenging, there's true honor in listening and learning from others' life experiences and backgrounds.


In essence, the ability to listen is crucial for becoming peacemakers and bridge builders in our polarized and divided society. As followers of Jesus, it is both our joy and our responsibility to listen to and honor those in our lives, particularly those whose thoughts, actions, or voting choices differ from our own.

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