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Seek to Understand Before Being Understood

Today on Inspirational Lifestyles, Cheryl Jackson shares from the devotion “A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t” by Renown Pastor and Teacher Rick Warren.  The topic today is derived from, Phillipians 2:4-5 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:This devotion reminds us to take on the mind of Christ when we are confronted with conflict.  Try to get an understanding of the the other person’s perspective and then respond in love.  This isn’t something we can do in our own accord.  It takes the love of Christ to help us with these actions.  See what Rick Warren says about it:

When you’re in conflict, the loving and Christlike way to defuse tension is to seek to understand before being understood. Try to figure out what the other person is thinking and saying before you try to convince them of your perspective. You cannot hope to be understood until you are willing to do the same for others.

The Bible says, “A person who answers without listening is foolish and disgraceful” (Proverbs 18:13 ICB).

We are often so busy trying to get people to see things our way that we don’t stop to listen to what they are saying.

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).

If you’re not willing to seek to understand and acknowledge other perspectives, you won’t be able to see the hurt in other people. You won’t see their fear, their pain, or the injustice they’ve faced.

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 begin to work through conflict in a Christ-like way.

(See the full teaching on the Bible App.)

About the Author:

Rick Warren is an innovative pastor, renowned author, and global influencer. The various ministries Pastor Rick has created are a multi-faceted expression of his heart to bring the whole Gospel to the whole world.  Since founding Saddleback Church in 1980, Rick Warren continues to be at the forefront of the evangelical movement, encouraging churches everywhere to be a sanctuary for hope and healing.  Connect With Pastor Rick Warren at