Is It Right to Ask Others to Listen to Us?

By Xunqiu

One day, I saw a short story on the Internet that went like this:

Once there were some people at a moon-watching party. A poor man looked up to the moon and said, “It looks like a tempting pie.” A rich man said, “I think it looks more like a silver coin.” A poet cast a glance at the rich man with disdain, and then gazed at the moon, saying, “In my eyes, it looks like the large eye of a pretty girl.” A young girl said, “No, you’re wrong. I think it’s like a mirror.” Each of them stuck to their own views, and none would give in.

At this time, a child who sat next his mother asked, “Mom, according to what they said, it’s as if there were many moons in the sky.” The mother caressed her child’s head, and told him, “There is only one moon in the sky.” “But why are they arguing?” the child kept asking, puzzled. The mother said, “It’s true that there is only one moon in the sky. But every one of them sees the moon from a different angle from others, so they dispute with each other.”

Pondering this story, I found what each of them said was right, and that the only difference was their perspective. The poor man compared the moon to a pie because he often starved. Thus when he saw the round moon, he associated it with a tempting pie, and thought it would be fine if he could eat his fill. The rich man thought about how to earn more money every day, so when he saw the moon, he compared it to a silver coin. As to the poet, he had a fertile imagination and pursued something poetic and picturesque. When he saw the moon, he thought it like a young girl’s eye. Whereas the young girl always paid attention to making herself up and loved to look at herself in the mirror, so she compared the moon to a mirror. Each of them had their own living background, life experience, and way of thinking; therefore, they compared the moon to what they loved.

God's words helped me

Their viewpoints were all right, and it was not wrong that each person expressed his own opinion. But the problem was: Why did they stick to their own opinion, deny others’, and even dispute with each other as a result? Pondering this question, I thought of God’s word: “People have their own opinions. … That people have their own opinions isn’t a problem—who doesn’t have their own opinions? Everyone has a brain, a heart, they’re all educated, and they all have their own opinions. Where’s the problem? The problem is their corrupt disposition. If you didn’t have a corrupt disposition, then no matter how many opinions you had you’d be able to obey—and so this wouldn’t be a problem.

God’s word tells us that everyone has his own way of thinking and his own views on things, so it’s normal that different people express different opinions when faced with the same issue. However, since they all have arrogant disposition, they can’t easily accept different understandings and viewpoints. They will rationalize their own opinions and even want to make others listen to them, and no one wants to bend his head or put himself aside to carefully listen to others’ opinions; they are all arrogant and opinionated. Both in work and in life, such cases are happening around us every day. For example: In the workplace, we often argue with our colleagues because of different viewpoints. In marriage life, a husband and wife often get into a dispute over some trivialities of the home, and neither gives in. Classmates often quarrel because their favorite subjects are different. A mother and son often conflict because of disagreement. … These are trifling matters but are really disturbing: They put us in a bad mood, harm our relationship with others, cause us unable to get along normally with others, and bring us lots of trouble.

I remembered that once my mother and I were ready to go shopping. Seeing her wear black clothes, I told her, “Mom, please change your clothes. Other people’s mothers are all in bright colored dresses and look very energetic. But look at you. You are always in grey or black, looking like an old lady, without any vigor.” When she heard my words, the smiles on her face instantly disappeared. She said to me, “I think it’s fine dressing in black. You constantly nag me to dress in this or that. I have my preference and you shouldn’t restrict my freedom of dressing….” Then I disputed with her. In the end, my mother unwillingly listened to me and changed her black clothes.

While I was walking along with my mother, I felt somewhat ill at ease and that my requirement to her was somewhat excessive. Thinking over this thing, I found what my mother said was right. She had her own habits and preferences; I should not ask her to do as I would. At this moment, I thought that I’m a Christian, and that there must be some lessons I should learn in this matter. So I prayed to God in my heart and sought His lead.Bible, pencil

One day I suddenly remembered the Bible verse about Adam giving name to all living creatures: “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis 2:19).

From this verse I understood: After Adam named all the living creatures, God didn’t say this name was not good, or that was not fit; but instead, He affirmed all of them. From this point I see God’s humbleness, God’s beauty and goodness, and God’s greatness; of the disposition He reveals, there is not the slightest ounce of arrogance. We all know that God is the supreme Creator, His wisdom soars higher than the heavens. No matter how good the names given by Adam to all the living creatures were, if compared with God’s wisdom, they were still not worthy of note. But God did not make any amendments to them, let alone deny what Adam had done. From God’s attitude toward us humans we can see that He is so humble, He is so lovely, and He is the source of all positive things. If we were with Adam, we would absolutely have denied those names Adam had given to them, and moreover, we would have given them other names as we would, in this way to prove that we have the ability to think independently, and that we have our own unique insights. It is obvious that we mankind, after being deeply corrupted by Satan, was full of satanic disposition—conceit and arrogance, self-righteousness and self-importance; we are ugly and ignorant as Satan itself. Once we find that others’ viewpoints are different from ours, we will dispute and argue with them, without any humanity and reason. Therefore we can’t get along with others easily.

Now I had some knowledge of my dispute with my mother: It was due to our different views about her dressing. Actually my mother had her own preference, and I should put aside my opinion and respect her decision. I should not uphold myself and impose my opinion upon her, asking her to do things as I would again; if I acted that way, I was conceited, arrogant and was of no benefit to her. I felt ashamed of my arrogance and made a resolution in my heart: From now on, I will no longer act in such an arrogant way, and no longer impose my viewpoint upon my mother.

Indeed, God has that high status, but He never speaks relying on His status and doesn’t reveal the slightest disposition of arrogance. We are just men corrupted by Satan, and in front of God, we are nothing but dust. If we can have such knowledge, when we have different opinions from others, and we want to stick to ours and deny others, we won’t become arrogant or ask others to listen to us, but rather, we can put ourselves aside and get along with others easily.

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