I found a Christianity Today article that made me think about healthy disagreements. "Can't We Just Have A Good Argument?" Lessons in "respectful conversation." by John Wilson.
Wilson quotes Dr. Howard Heie calling for "respectful conversation": not bland, feel-good dialogue, but the real thing. This will generally lead to strong disagreement encouraging forthright expression and undertaking with mutual respect. Heie leads a 3-part series at Northwestern College in Iowa called "Christians Engaging Culture." Their purpose is to model dialogue for public policy practitioners, politicians, scholars, and ordinary people like you and me in the pews and marketplace. To check out this article surf over to:
Dr. Heie's latest book, "Learning to Listen, Ready to Talk: A Pilgrimage Toward Peacemaking" further explores respectful communication. He invites readers to reject dogmatic confrontation with others. His philosophy encourages me as I empathize with wounded friends . Hard heartless political ranting has offended several of my friends recently. Yes, I yearn to find that way to have transparent dialogue without "dogmatic confrontation." Dr. Heie calls his readers to prepare to listen carefully and talk respecfully about diagreements.
Needing to "be right" can kill relationships. I learned that the hard way. It took years to transform this old high school and college debate champ to understand losing disagreements can be a good thing. I earned the tee shirt: How to prove you're right even if you might be wrong. Oh, some may say that means "You're a fence sitter." No, I can hear you, respect your opinion, and be steadfast in my beliefs. I can be honest and transparent and give you space to disagree with me.
Since this is a Christian blog I think I may have jumped into an exciting adventure if anyone is reading this. The risk that you might misconstrue my meaning appears real. I hope to hear from some of you...speak up; you're in a safe zone.
If your community has polls open today, please vote. This free land of America blesses you with the great opportunity of the power of your vote.
Comment emailed in:
"I enjoyed your blog it was very well written. I loved your willingness to be real about your own issue of needing to be "right." This is an issue so many people struggle with but can’t see it. Your testimony of being set free will help open their eyes. The topic you have chosen is also very good and needs to be read and applied to codependent relationships. Continue enjoying your freedom in Christ and sharing it with others. Feel free to use any of my comments.
Blessings, Denise Boggs