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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Could You Refrain from Giving Your Opinion?

Congratulations to Nicci who won the copy of Until We All Come Home by Kim de Blecourt. I know you'll love it, Nicci!

I heard recently about an assignment given at a conference. Everyone was told to find someone to partner with whom they didn't know. Then they were told to discuss three very controversial topics (they were named) and with one additional direction: only one person could share his or her opinions and the other could only listen and ask questions.

That would be so hard. But I wondered what the people learned from that assignment and I wondered how we each could apply that. 

What would be hard for the person listening?

  • I might not agree with the other person's opinion.
  • I might feel compelled to straighten them out because otherwise their error could hurt them and others.
  • My pride would be bruised because my valuable opinion wouldn't be shared.
  • I would be tempted to fashion my questions in such a way to express my opinions, like "Do you really think that's true?" Although I didn't hear that this was a part of the assignment: I think a guideline for the exercise would be that you can't communicate your opinion in some subtle way.
  • It would feel "out of control" and voiceless. 

What would be hard for the person talking?
  • My People Pleasing might be bothered because I wouldn't know if I was pleasing them with my opinions.
  • I might actually have trouble thinking of enough to say about the topic because I tend to depend upon other's opinions to give me ideas.
  • I would feel selfish because we're not supposed to be self-absorbed.
 You most likely can think of other things. I'd love to hear them. What do you think each person would learn from that time?

For some reason this exercise reminded me of an exercise Larry and I have had couples do on marriage retreats. Each couple would take turns leading their spouse around the building or grounds of the conference center. Oh, did I mention the one being led is blind-folded?! I guess that's an important point, eh? After one person is led, then switch positions.

Wow! Either it'll start a huge fight or develop trust! 

So here's two challenges:
1. Try not giving your opinion some time and really listen to the opinions of the other person. And ask questions that don't reveal your own opinion.

2. Do the little blind-fold exercise with a significant person and see what that feels like. Can you release control and trust? If God were leading you around blindfolded, how would you feel? Of course, spiritually, that's exactly what is always going on. God is leading us and we don't have a clue what will happen but can we trust Him and relax and be at peace?

Give it a try!

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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