Prov. 18:2 - A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
Close my lips...help me to spend much more time listening, trying to understand those that I disagree with - even if we will never agree...
and less time spouting opinions that only those already in agreement will listen to.
I am so guilty of this. I want to be right. I want everyone to believe I am right, see I am right. Come along with me in my rightness.
It is pride.
I'm not saying give up my beliefs, my convictions, the things that anchor me - not at all.
I am saying that I don't always show love - as Jesus did.
Scripture does not record a single instance of Jesus ranting at the "unchurched". He spoke with love, he ate with them, drank with them. I'm guessing that if they continued inviting him again and again, as it appears they did, he was kind, he listened.
No one believes He agreed with the lifestyles of prostitutes, drunks, adulterers, cheats - but He did not rail against them. We have no record of Him talking about them when he was with "His people". He spoke with love -- even when He called them to a different life, there was still love.
A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
I don't want to be that person. Not with people outside the Church, or with those inside the Church that I have disagreements with. I don't want to spend my time rallying my cause, gathering those that agree and ostracizing those that don't. I want to learn to shut up more, listen - really listen, understand, pray for a reconciling - a healing.
Without love, I am a loud gong, a clanging cymbal.