Listen If You Want to Be Heard

One of my Muslim friends was offended recently. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses had visited his family a few times and had spent hours telling his family about their religious group and their views.

In return, my friend’s family offered to give the women information about Islam. The two women agreed to come back and learn more. My friend and his family put a great deal of time and effort into collecting useful information for them.

However, after some time, only one woman came back. And even though she showed up, she showed little interest in discussing Islam. Not surprisingly, my friend had zero interest in her religion either.

Granted, I wouldn’t be excited about him becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, so I’m not too disappointed he was turned off to them. But I want to make sure I don’t come across the same way.

Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city.”

Should we tiptoe around with sealed lips to avoid offense? Definitely not. But the cross should be the only stumbling block, not our refusal to listen well. By showing respect through our willingness to listen to Muslims’ thoughts, we may also earn their respect. If we listen to their message, they are far more likely to listen to ours.

I bet you’d be surprised just how willing a Muslim friend or co-worker would be to have a conversation with you about your faith in God when you ask him about his.

Tia is a former volunteer with Desiring God’s International Outreach department. She now serves full-time in Asia.