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God invites us to judge and to help correct wrongs from a place of understanding. Sometimes we pre-judge a person based on our own biases and superficial experiences. We stifle dialog before the conversation even begins. If all we know is our own faith, and we never put it side-by-side with what others believe, our spiritual growth and commitments can be easily stunted. By truly listening and learning from those with different beliefs, we can broaden and deepen our kingdom commitments.
It is possible to stand up for Jesus, to articulate our faith clearly as witnesses, and to defend our faith effectively, while at the same time not being perceived as judgmental. Christians need to be faithful witnesses to God who are willing to listen to people with drastically different stories. In those exchanges, when we suspend judgment and truly listen, we will find truth and beauty and goodness in some of the most unexpected places. We will also find that, if we truly listen, we may be given a chance to speak.