Can You Learn From Others?

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Are you able to learn from others?  Even when you disagree with them?

I often formulate my opinion by building a framework of truth in my mind.  When I encounter an opinion that differs from mine, I of course, immediately know the other viewpoint is wrong.  By definition they’re wrong. How could they be right if they disagree with me?  Later, I wonder why my growth has stagnated.

Some Biblical truths are complex.  One scripture on some topics do not reveal the whole truth.  I think this is the case with the issues around, wealth, money and possessions. How to manage it, use it, and care for it requires balancing various scriptures against each other. The truth is held in tension between various Biblical truths.

Sometimes our perspective can be skewed a bit. It might not be wrong. It can be defended by scripture but a counter balancing scripture is ignored. The other scripture is inconvenient and doesn’t fit neatly into the framework of truth we’ve built, so its forgotten.

We sometimes fail to learn from others because we don’t really hear what the other person is saying. 

 It can be beneficial from time to time to step out of own shoes, and walk over next to a disagreeing brother and listen to them from their vantage point.  We can always walk back to our own framework of truth.  It isn’t so dangerous – the journey to our brother’s shoes. Maybe we’ll learn something. Maybe our brother will actually think we care about him and his thoughts.

I know this is abstract. An example of this could be the tension that develops around God’s love and mercy.   In my story Plumb and True, I try to capture this push and pull of opinion but on a different topic.  The debate centers around four perspective on wealth and possessions.  Give it a read and consider.  Here’s a link to the book,  Modern Parables for Financial Freedom.

I don’t want to be a Pharisee, so fixed in my opinion that I’m not willing to grow or learn. I want to learn from other brothers who disagree with me. Other brothers who are flawed and wrong in some points ( just like I am) but have it right in others.

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