The ability to suspend judgment requires not only skill but also a lot of energy.
This is especially true when you want to be a good friend or parent, or spouse, that conveys empathy, interest, and acceptance.
Listening long and with compassion doesn’t mean you approve of or agree with their position. But you can begin to discern what the roots of their position is. You can begin to hear what is in their heart.
Here are proverbs that create relational tension for me.
13If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
14A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16A man’s gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.
17The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
The crushed spirit needs a friend.
But the crushed spirit has also likely lost perspective.
“It” has become all about “moi.”
And while this crushed one needs empathy,
at the right time he also needs
to see the bigger picture;
“It” is not all about “moi.”