COS Lenten Devotions

Hearing Different Perspectives

March 24, 2023

Today's devotional was written by Liz Bunker.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.    John 13:34

It is easy to love those we like. We all know the real challenge Jesus gives us with this commandment is to also love those we don’t like, right? Often, that requires effort to know them, which requires us to listen to them. Everyone has a story that has shaped who they are and their perspective. We all have the basic need to be loved and with that comes being understood, then accepted. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”

Maybe it was the large family or maybe just the personalities, but it was hard being heard when I was growing up. The loudest dominated; there was much interrupting and talking over. Often, instead of listening, I was planning how I’d tell a sibling they were wrong when I got my chance to talk. I had to unlearn this and learn to listen with intention, with my whole body. I’m still working on it and daily seek God’s help to be slow to speak, patient to listen (as well as to be slow to anger and quick to forgive). I realized that I learn nothing by speaking, but only by listening to others and to different perspectives. 

Proverbs provides this wisdom on understanding:

  • A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2
  • Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2

Let us pray, 

Holy Father, help us to listen to each other, even those with different opinions. We can’t begin to understand someone else without listening to them. Give us the courage and desire to invest the time and effort in understanding and loving each other. Amen

Enjoy this song that goes with today's topic.

All Are Welcome