I was reading a devotional today put out by Purpose Driven Life. It was a good article but what really stuck out to me was reading Romans 14 along with the last paragragh. Here is what they have:
"Learn to listen - Listening means more than just hearing someone talk; it means carefully considering what the other person is saying and actively trying to understand his or her point of view. The Bible says, "Listen before you answer. If you don't, you are being stupid and insulting." (Proverbs 18:13 TEV) That's pretty clear! It means we shouldn't evaluate what someone has done or said until we've heard the full story. God gave us two ears and one mouth, perhaps to tell us we should listen twice as much as we talk. Ha!"
I am concerned with this thought of adding my own offense in reaching out to others who I am trying to reach for Christ. We tend have a set system of answers for how we are to respond to someone who believes differently than we do. It is always good and very necessary that we listen (which implies a relationship with someone that gives you permission to speak the truth in love into their life) a lot... before we prescribe.