For many years we’ve been told; do not discuss religion or politics because those topics are always argumentative. Why can’t we talk about our different perceptions of God and Scripture without demoralizing one another? After all, who among us fully understands?
Discussions are conversations between two or more people sharing insights. Rather than arguing in an effort to prove “who is right,” we should want to discover “what is right.” We need more discussions!
Real discussions take place when we listen and contemplate different perceptions of what we believe is true. When our interactions are open to consider the perceptions of others, everyone’s understanding can increase.
Real discussions occur when we listen and contemplate different perceptions of what we believe.
Appropriate Probing Discussions
Unfortunately, just as society often labels government issues as ‘Politics,’ many beliefs about God and Scripture are categorized as ‘Religion.’ In both cases, we remain silent on one side or the other rather than argue over the great divide. Consequently, we leave the issues of faith to theologians and good probing discussions are rarely experienced.
Why is this detrimental?
Each of us has an amazing ability to reason and think though ideas, problems, and difficulties. To our detriment, conversations where we share our different insights are avoided. We tend to simply believe, or not. Our desire to make sense of different ideas and perceptions needs to be revived.
Discussions Help Us Absorb and Retain
From the moment we wake till we go to sleep, we are constantly processing, registering and retaining input from the natural and spiritual environments. We absorb and learn from what our five senses see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Much of this activity happens routinely, without any forethought.
Consider how the information we absorb is received and retained. Scientific research has determined; we retain 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss, and 90% of what we do.
Isn’t it amazing just how much discussion increases our ability to absorb and retain insightful information? While we may agree that a new truth makes sense, it will have little effect on what we do if it is not absorbed and retained.
There is always more to understand!
Seeking Greater Understanding
Why did Jesus instruct us to ask, seek, and knock? There is always more to understand!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33).
Surely, the nature of God and His ways are beyond our ability to ‘fully’ understand. We should however, always be open to receive greater light and broader perceptions. Jesus said; “when two or more interact with Christ-like attitudes, He would be in our midst to clarify” (see Matthew 18:20).
Honest discussion broadens perspectives, deepens understanding, and raises levels of maturity. When we ask questions, we encourage good discussion by indicating we are open to hearing and receiving insight.
Discussions Help Us Make More Sense of Life
When our interactions about God and His ways are sharing discussions, we experience fewer arguments. Do we become defensive when someone questions our perspective and feel offended? Let’s remember, an honest question is a desire to know more, rather than a challenge to another’s thinking.
Each time we are willing to consider different perspectives, Christ can ‘arise among us,’ shed light on our understanding, and facilitate our transformation into more Christ-like people.
Sharing conversations allow clarity to develop and help each of us make more sense of God and this life. Such interaction allows everyone to ask questions and discern solutions. May life be richer as we engage in more dialogue about what God is doing in our lives!
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder