Conversation Rules the Nation

I think I know what I think, but I can’t put it into words.  As one who has garnered a significant portion of income through public speaking, I’m a little embarrassed to admit the truth.  And have you ever noticed that, when you say something out loud, it sounds different than in your head?  Talk about confusing.  How is it that I confound a Philadelphia lawyer in private and confound myself in public?

It’s a lot easier to say “talk things through” than to do it.  It is difficult to understand another person’s opinion when you barely understand your own.  To talk it through, you first must think it through, and it is not uncommon for folk to rattle blunt sabers.  Many times, I have entered the coliseum of conflict to change my mind in the midst of the fray.  Not that I went so far as to admit it.

When we engage ideological enemies, it is important that we not be idiotic.  Possessing a portion of the truth is not possessing the whole.  Frequently, the unvarnished is larger than and outside individual understanding.  We might join Pilate in asking, “What is truth?”  It may be wise to barter with an adversary or combine forces for greater understanding.

Communication is the key.  I admit this is coming from a guy who runs out of things to say.  Every time I tried to tell you, the words just came out wrong.  I can recite it to myself and lecture on the point, but I can’t explain it to you.  In spite of individual inadequacies, we must still try because conversation is grease to the wheels of progress.

Semantics are important and terminology useful, but the heart of communion is vital.  Without dress, exchanges may be dismissed out-of-hand, but the naked truth is essential.  Observations are often made on outwards appearance alone.  The crux of the matter may be beneath the surface.  We must converse to strip away the protective outer coating and reach the softer interior.  We may find that ideological adversaries are not opposites but perspectives on the same issues.  Perhaps, there is even common ground.

The Bible says a lot about counsel and collaboration.  It also discourages quick tongues and tempers.  There is even a bit about meeting early with enemies to prevent catastrophes later.  It is not easy to discuss and achieve diplomacy, but it is necessary for discernment and development.  To avoid intellectual and emotional poverty, we should allow diversified deposits.

We may share common goals from dissimilar viewpoints.  One’s particular standpoint should not cloud the mutual destination.  There are certain immutable truths which may not be broached, but these are not of personal derivation.  They are divine directives.

While we eschew the “it works” philosophy, we certainly want to achieve successful ends and in the right ways.  Safety is found in the multitude of counselors, but the counselors need not be combatants.  In the end, concourse will rule.

God gave us to one another.  We are to use our fellows as sounding boards and stop gaps.  In many ways, this is not limited to the community of faith.  Biblical principles of expression are useful and ubiquitous.

Sterl

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