How do we communicate?
I have seen a thing where thoughts, ideas, opinions are presented in such a way as to not allow discussion or varying opinions.
I view it a bit like a stronghold’s walls, where the talking is buttoned up tight and smooth, so that we, as listeners, stand at the base of the conversation and have no way to climb the wall.
I have been looking at the way I talk and have seen myself doing this. I have an idea, I have theological points of view, I have teachings. I have thought them through so many times, even presented them so many times that I know the pitfalls of my view. I have heard the dissenting voices, and have learned how to present my idea/teaching in such a way as to have a nice smooth face to my presentation.
People are left at the base of my conversation with no way to question. This, I think is very disingenuous. So I have started to reform the way I do things. I am looking at my words, and want to use better ones.
We often say “God has said…”, and the things God has said to us can be very real and true. However the words “God has said…”, is a very smooth surface, and someone might need to take a pickaxe to these words to be able to create a discussion, and that looks and feels like an attack on our point of view and maybe even our integrity.
If God has said a thing, we do not need to stand in front of it to protect it.
God does not need our protection. Instead, we need to communicate better. This is a bit like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, “boasting is necessary, though it is not beneficial, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ, who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. In behalf of such a man, I will boast; but in my own behalf I will not boast, except regarding my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.”
Paul here is giving others the ability to enter the discussion.
So now I say, “You know, I think God has been saying….”, this gives others the opportunity to disagree, give a counterpoint of view, agree or ask questions.
It opens up the conversations as I build my point of view.
So, instead of trying to make a stronghold against questions or other thoughts, I am building a rock climbing wall so people can get to the top and see the view from where I stand.