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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Listening as If You Have Never Heard

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Ryan-Kiblinger-webStop me if you have heard this one before… a not uncommon beginning line to the telling of a story of a joke.  Stop me if you have heard this one before.  Surely, we have all on occasion stopped someone and said, yes, yes, you have told me that before, or maybe it wasn’t you, but I have heard it elsewhere.  There is just one major problem today.  In our civic communications we are becoming those who preemtively presumue that we have heard this one before.  We project what we think someone else is going to say before they say it, and we turn off our ears, and our minds before we have ever heard.

We have become people who cut people off thinking we already know them, we know their argument and we either strongly agree or disagree. We have all done it.  We all practice it.  We think if someone we respect from our side said it, it must be true and we agree.  If someone from the other side said it, it is wrong, not worth listening to, and not worth considering.  That is sadly the way in which we have become a nation without ears or brains.

I want you to consider one simple reality that is Biblical and that should shape how we listen and how we treat others.  All people are made in the image of God.  All.  There are not exceptions and no way to get an exemption.  All people are made in the image of God.  So the next time you start to stop someone because you have heard it before, why don’t you stop to consider the person above and beyond their words, their argument, or their position.  What we lumped people into one group; the group of humans made in the image of God, instead of ‘othering’ everyone else to the nth degree?

This is not to say you need agree with all that is said, or to any position that blows in with the wind.  That is not the point of this article.  The point is to stop and reclaim and recapture the deeper reality of our shared humanity.  Jesus came and died for to take away the sins of the world, because he knew all people were sinners, and all people were made in the image of God.   Today be one who have received grace in such a sure fashion that you might extend the grace of Jesus to all.

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