Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Converse vs. Convert

Last week on EU, we talked about a discussion that was taking place on another list between one of our members, Dena, and someone who had taken it upon himself to correct Dena's theology. Joan, another "EUer" posted the following

let him know that if he wishes to 'converse' that you are all ears; yet if he wishes to 'convert' that you have an indwelling Spirit who is more than capable to lead into all truth.

Those two words, convert and converse caught my attention. On EU we converse. We do not always agree but we disagree agreeably. It is truly a conversation. There need not be a victor and no one feels the need to correct anyone else. There is no fighting that goes on there. In fact, that is our main rule..pretty much our only rule. Play nice. The moderators have only had to moderate once or twice.

This whole idea of conversing vs. converting reminded me of the Sunday School Class I am presently attending. Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White. So far, I like the atmosphere of the class. The members seem interested in listening to other points of view. They are looking to find points of agreement rather than points of disagreement...to learn from someone different than themselves. To perhaps enlarge their perspective, to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, to understand.

As Stephen Covey advises in his well known 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Henry David Thoreau said:

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

I missed the class on Sunday because I was in Uniontown. They discussed the chapter Faith and the Presidential Elections. The upcoming class is Chapter 6 entitled "Shhhhhh, Just Listen." If I glean any helpful insights reading the chapter or attending the class, you will be the first to know.

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