We won’t always agree with the choices others make – choices that might even have personal cost for us. But disagreeing doesn’t mean we simply dismiss them. Love calls us to seek understanding – discovering their deep heart and offering a heart of compassion and kindness toward them.
Some people we simply don’t get. We don’t understand how they see the world and why they do the things they do.
And it’s easy to write such people off. Perhaps they’re just hopelessly backwards and not worth giving our time and attention.
To be sure, we don’t have the bandwidth to listen to everyone’s story. In passing encounters we often accept our lack of understanding and simply move on.
But more is required for those we have an ongoing relationship with.
Whether it’s our family and friends, coworkers, or fellow citizens, we have a responsibility to love those around us. And love requires us to seek understanding in order to provide what’s needed.
For instance, it’s not love to simply dismiss our wife when she’s nagging. We might disagree with her timing, approach, and even the particular outcome she wants to see. But love demands that we try to understand her heart all the same.
She’s nagging because something important to her is not being realized and fulfilled. And the more we understand the better equipped we are to love her well.
This is not caving in or excusing any bad behaviors. But it is dialing in and listening deeper – giving her the benefit of the doubt that her heart is good.
Things continue to escalate when we don’t seek to understand. And we become desperate when our deep heart is missed – yelling louder and louder to be seen, known, and blessed.
Practice love by seeking to understand.
Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash