Civil Dialog Begins at Home (#542)
Brad and Wayne continue their discussion from last week as it moves to the dialog we carry on in the normal course of our lives, especially with those who may not see what I see. It has been said that religion makes us "relationally challenged" as we are more driven to argument and accusation than we are truly understanding what someone else is going through. Here is some helpful advice for being a better conversationalist by not trying to fix or convince people and by sharing the bandwidth to let others participate and find your way into a give and take where you explore each other. By loving each other more than we want to convince them of our truth, we open the door to a better dialog.
CS Lewis quote about tyranny: "“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
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I’ve learned the best way to be a better conversationalist, is to be a better listener. Most people’s favorite subject is themselves, take a genuine interest in them. Learn about things they like. Doesn’t mean you can’t maintain your interests, but express them in ways that don’t infringe on others. You listen enough and surprise, they may actually return the favor. It doesn’t happen overnight.
May I suggest that perhaps the person who appears to be wanting to “fix”other people, has found a “plaster-cast” to wrap around their own brokenness which somehow gives them a sense of “this is fixing me”. Have they found something which makes them feel that they have an ability to “stand up”, even if they need to use a crutch. But inside they are terrified that if others can show them the error of their belief system, their world will once again come crashing down around them & they will be crushed & broken even more. Are they living with the constant fear “have I got it right”? Then of course the enemy gets on the band-wagon & increases the bondage to the bandages further & further.
As you mentioned Wayne, it’s in the ones & twos that we have opportunity to try seeing behind the fortified walls & extend grace. Perhaps the same grace which Jesus gave to the rich young ruler who really did not understand the heart of the Father.
I am trying to always remember that the “roaring lion” (the devourer) & “slimy serpent” (the deceiver) spend so much time plotting our destruction….not just mine but everyone else’s as well. – God grant us eyes to see others as His beloved children.
Joanne said: “May I suggest that perhaps the person who appears to be wanting to “fix”other people, has found a “plaster-cast” to wrap around their own brokenness which somehow gives them a sense of “this is fixing me”. Have they found something which makes them feel that they have an ability to “stand up”, even if they need to use a crutch. But inside they are terrified that if others can show them the error of their belief system, their world will once again come crashing down around them & they will be crushed & broken even more.”
I have found the life in and a faith and trust in Jesus that many of you probably have if you connect to the things Wayne and Brad speak of. But it has only came from a place of complete brokenness and it is the only thing that is keeping me going these days. I find life really hard and the picture painted of the plaster-cast above is the picture of how this relationship with Jesus started and how I feel in it. Without Jesus I don’t think I would survive this life. Jesus is my crutch. Without him, without this faith and trust I am giving him I do think my “world will once again come crashing down around them & they will be crushed & broken even more.”
I admit I am early on in this new journey and Jesus/Father is still drawing me into this relationship and growing a trust in me. This faith is like everyone else’s – there is nothing concrete to prove it’s real. It is based on taking a set of promises given – that we mostly know about because we have heard of them from someone who knows about them from a book and/or someone else before them having told them – and choosing to take them (the promises) at their word.
… “Are they living with the constant fear “have I got it right”?” … I am not living in a ‘constant fear’ of whether I have got it right or not but sometimes I can’t help but think who am I too think that I have got it right and others have got it wrong – others who feel just as strongly about their belief as I do about mine.
All I know is that Jesus is my crutch – my plaster-cast – and that without it I would be crushed and I think broken beyond repair this time. I know I can’t do this life by myself and I have learnt that I can’t trust or rely on the people around me – for many reasons – but not least of all for if I were to do so it would develop serious dependency issues and place unfair and unhealthy expectations on them. It scares me that my life depends on Jesus being real. So yeah, sometimes I ‘live in fear’. I’m not sure if I have developed yet another unhealthy dependency or whether it is the type of dependency that we are called to have in Jesus/Father. They seem to look the same to me.
Give it time LD, and Jesus and Father will unravel the more broken and ‘unhealthy’ bits of your soul….
I’ve been exactly there, and am beginning to experience the freedom which comes from the blind trust you talked about. He draws us in with affection, and heals us with love.
(Almost there, caught up). Brad and Wayne, loved the comment about always having to win. Maybe it is just me, but I don’t think so, but a big issue that I have been seeing for the last 6 to 12 months in me and in others is the desire to control everything that they can. TV channels, topics of conversation, my views are right and yours are wrong, everything is about the “human” illusion of being in control and right. We are not told to be in control, but to love one another. Wayne, you’re right; once we let Papa love others through us, then we can really start to let go of “winning”. Think about it, which do you want for people: to know that they are loved by God or for you to be right. I want God to be right, not me; I’ve proved that enough times. Just love them where they are at.