Andy and I have been arguing for years - though it does seem like things have settled down recently. I don't know if that is because we've given up on each other or we've learned how to tolerate our differences.
At first, I merely wanted to win, that is, force him, by the power of my arguments, into agreement with me. Eventually, though, I started to actually listen to him. I attempted to see the world through his eyes. Once I did that I quit seeing his beliefs and questions as threats to be defeated. In fact, I not only came to question some facile assumptions - I actually changed in important ways.
Your ability to answer the following question will determine whether you and your "opponent" are simply arguing from entrenched positions or having a productive discussion: What have you learned from her or him?
These thoughts were inspired, in part, by the book I'm reading now, Patience with God by Tomas Halik.
- The baptizing Christ
- The essentials of Orthodox spirituality
- The historical development of Orthodox spiritualit...
- Cut military spending, strengthen diplomacy and th...
- Pray for peace.
- A God who turns the other cheek
- What have you learned?
- This mountain will be thrown into the sea.
- War's a banker, flesh his gold
- The voice of the Lord speaks
- Mister Rogers, the saint
- Brief thoughts on self-denial
- The Christmas wars are a failure of hospitality
- The Angelus: A Christ-Centered Marian Prayer
- Follow-up on healing and acceptance
- ▼ December (15)