Listening: Being Heard with Confidence

The Four Elements of Effective Communication

From the title of my blog, Confident Christianity, a person may think that my ultimate desire is to be right or correct in my view when talking with those who disagree with me. However, I am the kind of person that cares much more about being heard in a conversation than I am about being right. I know, some of you are thinking, “Danger, Will Robinson!” I understand your concern; so walk with me a bit on this matter.

I am a believer in objective truth as well as in an external reality that is to be discovered. Yet, I’m also a believer in God and in the fallen state of mankind within His creation. So I know that my reasoning, while it can match external reality, can often go astray due to my own perversion of thought, the idols of the mind (hat tip to Francis Bacon). ListeningI can rationalize nearly anything I want to be true. So I must be cautious to not become intellectually arrogant, or puffed up in my thinking…especially about my thinking. I see this very attitude a lot on the Internet from all different kinds of people.

Rather, my desire is to be on a life-long journey of learning with other people. In that regard, my concern is to aptly communicate my own view and to have my view understood as closely to the truth of it as possible. There is a story to my view and reasons for why I hold to it. If we can openly discuss our views, you might hear that story. If we cannot openly discuss our views, you will probably pass by me as one passes by flowers in the fields on an open highway, rarely seen nor enjoyed.

The majority of my online experience, as well as some of my one-on-one conversations, has resembled a highway fly-by. People are ever driving by, but not spending quality thought time on my beliefs. So what is received is an asphyxiated view of what I believe. If the person can just make my view whatever he wants it to be, then he can easily write it off…just keep your eyes on the road, as the fields pass by.

Yet to look deeply into my views, is to discover a human. And one not so different from yourself. What I desire is to be heard and considered. I will challenge your views and many times I will disagree. But I will always view you as a human with a story to be told. So when you see the title, Confident Christianity, know this: it references the confidence to hold conversation with you in a manner in which I would like to be treated. It is an invitation, more so than a declaration.