Seek to Understand Before Being Understood - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - August 29, 2020
Seek to Understand Before Being Understood
By Rick Warren
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:4-5 NLT).
When you’re in conflict, the loving and Christlike way to defuse the tension is to seek to understand before seeking to be understood. Try to figure out what the other person is thinking and saying before you start trying to convince them convince them of your side. You cannot hope to be understood until you are willing to do the same for others.
We are often so busy trying to get people to see it our way that we don’t stop to listen to what they are saying.
That’s why you need to say, “You go first.” And then, after they’ve shared, you say, “Now, let me see if I understand. You’re saying (repeat to them what you understood they were communicating to you). Did I get this right?” That gives them a chance to correct and not just be understood but also feel understood.
Seeking to understand first also allows you to see the other person’s perspective. Philippians 2:4-5 says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (NLT).
We’re in the thick of a pandemic filled with a lot of heated discussion around the best way to move forward. Everyone has their own perspective, but it seems like no one is willing see anyone else’s perspective. All we can see is our own side of things.
If you’re not willing to seek to understand and acknowledge other perspectives, you’re not going to be able to see the hurt of other people. You won’t see their fear, their pain, or the injustice they’ve faced.
That is not the way of Jesus Christ. He was always looking beyond himself to the needs of others. Even on the cross, he was thinking of you.
It’s not easy to think of others before yourself. It certainly isn’t natural. You are, by nature, a self-centered person. So am I! Left to my own devices, I will always choose to look out for myself before I look out for others.
Only Jesus can change my perspective—and yours. Only Jesus can make you more interested in someone else’s interests than in your own. When you take on the character of Christ, the desire to understand before being understood becomes more natural. Only then can you work through conflict as you think of others before yourself.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
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Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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