It’s a Christian thing to listen. It’s a Christian thing to allow someone to give his perspective, finish his sentence, share his experience while not judging him or getting overly defensive. It’s the flesh that belittles and dismisses and refuses to ever give the person on the other side the benefit of the doubt. It’s carnality that imputes the worst possible motives to a person you disagree with. Where Christianity would have us speak the truth in love, pride wants a quick one-liner to shut the other guy up.
There’s a church here in Cincinnati who is holding a prayer service in response to what happened Thursday night in Dallas. I can’t go because I’m preaching for another pastor here locally, but if you’re in the Cincinnati area, please consider going. It’s an ethnically diverse church devoted to the Good News of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, and that’s about as beautiful a thing as you can find under this temporary sun in my book.
I want to be humble about these racial matters, because I know that’s what my Savior would have me be. We are called to have a posture of humility. And I believe a part of humility is to allow the other person to have his say, whether you end up agreeing with all or part of what he says or not. And so we should be the kings and queens of dialogue, us Jesus-lovers, because we of all folks have been shown that loving people and loving truth are branches on the same tree. So let us be the first to listen, the most gracious in speech, and the least afraid of honesty and truth.
If America is looking for a way to have a true and honest dialogue about something hard to talk about, let’s show her a way.
After all, God left us in a dark world for a reason.