"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Stephen R. Covey
My husband “encouraged” me with this statement some time ago. It hit me so strong that it bounces back in my face quite often.
I know I am guilty of wanting to make my perspective clear first: determined to make those listening get my point. Only to become frustrated when they don’t “get it” or worse - being misunderstood!
Here’s what God is teaching me through this simple statement (minus all the individual details of the lessons):
*My perspective does not reveal the entire picture.
*Someone else’s perspective most likely will enhance my perspective.
*Understanding another perspective provides the ability to relate my perspective to their understanding and visa versa.
*Being open to accepting another perspective does not require rejecting my own perspective.
*My perspective can be broadened without being junked.
*In the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if someone misunderstands my point. If it is from God and they need to understand it, He’ll take care of it for His glory, not mine.
*Life is actually fun when I shut up and just listen without even attempting to “enlighten” the other person.
Ok, clarification time. I’m not talking about absolute truths. I do believe in absolute truths. However, I am discovering that there are a lot fewer absolutes than we sometimes think. Even with absolute truths, I can only plant the seed and may get to water it. I can’t make it grow.