Refraction: Slow to Judge
: God invites us to judge and to help correct wrongs from a place of understanding. Sometimes we pre-judge a person based on our own biases and superficial experiences. We stifle dialog before the conversation even begins. If all we...
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God invites us to judge and to help correct wrongs from a place of understanding. Sometimes we pre-judge a person based on our own biases and superficial experiences. We stifle dialog before the conversation even begins. If all we know is our own faith, and we never put it side-by-side with what others believe, our spiritual growth and commitments can be easily stunted. By truly listening and learning from those with different beliefs, we can broaden and deepen our kingdom commitments.
It is possible to stand up for Jesus, to articulate our faith clearly as witnesses, and to defend our faith effectively, while at the same time not being perceived as judgmental. Christians need to be faithful witnesses to God who are willing to listen to people with drastically different stories. In those exchanges, when we suspend judgment and truly listen, we will find truth and beauty and goodness in some of the most unexpected places. We will also find that, if we truly listen, we may be given a chance to speak.
Help for interfaith and intercultural dialog Thought-provoking questions for spiritual conversation or reflection
David B. Capes (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor and chair of the Department of Christianity and Philosophy at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. He has served as pastor of several churches in Texas, and he has participated in a variety of professional organizations, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research and the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. His articles have been published in such journals as Horizons in Biblical Theology, Biblical Illustrator, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Southwestern Journal of Theology, Bulletin for Biblical Research and Perspectives in Religious Studies. He is the author of Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul's Christology in the Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament series.