Finding Grace in Listening: Embracing Wisdom and Avoiding the “X” Factor

Do you have an “X” in your life? In C.S. Lewis’ thought-provoking essay, he mentions a person who always seems immune to reason. Most of us might recognize this individual – it could be a colleague, a dear friend, or even someone within our church community. When we discuss our troubles with others, they often advise, “Why don’t you explain your side? Surely they’ll understand.” Yet, we remain skeptical because deep down we know, trying to reason with “X” can feel like speaking to a wall.

But what if we took a moment to reflect on ourselves? Have we ever been that “X” to someone else? God invites us to be more than just hearers; He beckons us to truly listen and understand. The message from the Book of James (James 3:17) offers a refreshing perspective. It doesn’t focus on people, but rather on the essence of wisdom – the heavenly wisdom that comes from above.

This wisdom isn’t just about intellectual prowess but also about its meek application in life. It’s not just about the accumulation of knowledge but about our moral compass in handling that knowledge. It’s about how we engage with others, not merely about what we can teach. Genuine wisdom radiates purity, peace, and sincerity. It’s impartial and filled with mercy, and it’s always “open to reason”.

However, today’s world seems to echo more of “X” than ever. Our surroundings often encourage us to close our ears and minds, leading us down a path of stubbornness that’s detrimental to our growth and relationships. But as believers, we must remember that being close-minded hampers our growth. It’s like a garden that refuses the nourishment of rain. As God’s children, we require the insights of others to shape and mold us, making us more Christ-like.

Today, our digital age has amplified our exposure to information. Yet, algorithms tend to feed us the same views we already hold, making it easy to build walls around our beliefs. More information doesn’t equate to true wisdom, and being confident doesn’t necessarily mean being right.

To truly embrace heavenly wisdom, we must accept that we are fallible beings. This humility allows us to listen, to change, and to grow. It invites us to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19), discerning when to stand firm in our beliefs and when to yield to insights that can mold us further.

In our daily walk with God, while wisdom does ask us to consider valid arguments, it also urges us to sometimes yield to innocent requests, especially from our loved ones. It’s in these small acts of yielding, like choosing a family movie or giving our children that extra moment of our time, that we often find the purest joy.

So, the next time you converse with a loved one or reflect on life’s challenges, ponder on this: Are you embodying the wisdom from above or are you someone’s “X”? Allow Christ to guide you on a journey of continuous growth, filled with understanding, humility, and love.