About the Author

Michelle Ami Reyes, PhD, is an author and activist. Her first book, Becoming All Things, is the recipient of the 2022 ECPA award. Michelle writes at the intersection of multiculturalism, faith, and justice. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

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  1. Michelle,

    With all the disunity in this world today we don’t need to add to it in the Christian sector. God wants us to encourage & love on each other. Like Jesus we should be willing to hear people out. Let them express their opinions & then give ours. It could be we can both learn something. None of us knows the whole story of each other. We could do well to listen & perhaps learn. By always trying to be right & have our say we may turn that person away from wanting to come back to church or Bible study. The Pharisees & Sadducees did just that. They were pious & pompous. Only thinking of themselves & their spot in church. God wants us to treat everyone equally. No one is any better or worse than the other. Let’s listen & care for others’ opinions.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you, Beth, for your wise words. I love how you said, “We should be willing to hear people out.” I couldn’t agree more. We are so quick to shut someone down without even understanding where they’re coming from, or why an issue is important to them. That’s why we have to begin as better listeners.

  2. This topic cuts close to the bone for me, Michelle, because I recently sat through a situation in which I know I should have opened my mouth, but failed to. This is not the first time lazy cowardice and listening to the voice inside my head that tells me I have nothing of value to add to the conversation have left me speechless, but I also don’t want to make the mistake of throwing word-bombs into a gathering.
    We are so dependent upon God for discernment. How amazing that the indwelling Spirit can overcome our natural tendencies in any direction and enable us to minister grace with our words.

    • Thanks for sharing your heart, Michele. And I totally get it. I’ve been there too, and it’s so hard. There are definitely situations where God will give us the boldness and the courage to proclaim truth and stand up for justice. That is important too. For someone like myself, who speaks up regularly, I’m learning when to just listen. No matter where we are in this journey, though, we can all seek to embody Christ, and challenge ourselves to delight in the other person, regardless of whether we agree with them or not.

  3. We as Christ followers have to sometime see things from another Christ followers point of view. We might not agree with them. But there are people who are saved no matter what they think they are always right. It their way or no way. They like to get the lime light. They will do and say anything to get it. No matter even if we tell them we know what they are saying is wrong. They will always have answer for us. Try to put us down. You might as follower of God and there friend only telling them for there own good. As you know what they are saying or doing is wrong. But no they still no better. All you can do is say it once in a nice way. If they listen you won them over before they do and say something stupid. They will regret later. Then be cross with you their friend and say why did you let me do and say that. Why if you are meant to be my friend you would not have let me do or say that. But if they don’t listen to you when you have told them. All you can do is keep quite. I know it hard for you. I been there with a friend. She always knows best. It here way or no way. She is saved. I have in so many times wanted to say to her don’t do it or say it. Over things. As she always knows best. I did tell her once she never listened. She like the lime light. To feel she knows best. I got now I pray for people like that. Leave them in Gods hands. If in women group only speak when God by his Holy Spirit tell me when to speak and when not to speak. Keep quite so as I don’t do or say the wrong thing. Don’t get told of by anyone. Especially if someone who thinks they know better than me. Even if I am boiling in side I know they are looking for the lime light or saying something that they have no need to say. I do what Gods Holy Spirit tells me to do at that Women meeting our TLC as it is called. Say nothing then that person can’t be cross with me. I just stay sience like Jesus would want me too. Even though it hard. As the old saying says. Sometimes a shut mouth makes a wise head. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

    • Hi Dawn, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I knew this post would be very personal because each of us can recall a conversation or situation where someone said something that made us uncomfortable, or where we just plain disagreed. And you’re right that moments like this have layers of complexity to them, and each different situation may require a slightly different approach. Perhaps, after the moment, we can lovingly pull our friend aside and share with her our concerns. Perhaps these are ongoing conversations that we have in love with our friends in private. The question I want to challenge all of us to, though, is also making room for disagreements. So often Christians are quick to tell others, “you’re wrong, and here’s why.” What would seeking shalom look like? How could we peaceably engage with someone who makes us uncomfortable? Maybe that means it’s even ok to be told off by someone.

  4. Thanks for your words Michelle! A great reminder! I tend to be argumentative and want to be right, but that rarely solves the problem or provides any peace.

    • Amen. It sounds like you and I have a lot in common then 🙂 That’s exactly what I’m learning too. Proving that I am right and winning an argument can often be quite damaging. How do we find a different approach that seeks peace among our fellow image bearers, and only speaks truth with love, humility and gentleness?

  5. Thank you! I can get so caught up in being right! But where does that even fit with Christ’s example of love and humility? I needed this today.

  6. yes …sat through a women’s group where christian woman all agreed one thing was ok. I asked what about( this scripture) at which they just didn’t care..so even if someone is misguided it may not be the time to say a thing. the thing I was opposing was outrageous against the christian faith but this group wasn’t ready to learn that , they were stumbling in sin and not eager to leave the comfort of that place..changing our views isn’t comfortable.
    I’ve learned to walk away..and pray for those who can’t see their path.

  7. Michelle – boy you nailed it with this post! My prayers have grown in this last year to include, “Lord, help me speak half, listen double. Let me listen with a heart that is learning and not forming rebuttals or a better argument. Let there be spaces and pauses in my head, prayers, words and conversation.”
    I am the person who will go where angels fear to tread – and I need to step back and ask – if God blessed angels won’t go, then who am I to think I should push through!
    I have never been comfortable with silence and I have that dang gift of gab… so learning to sit in the silence is not an easy task, but worth it.
    Thank you for your thoughts and wisdom –
    In His grip of grace, none other,

  8. Thank you so much Michelle, that pierced me straight to my heart .This is who I want to be.Rich in Grace and Mercy! Surrounded in Gods love! And to never forget ,apart from Christ, I am the unlovely and that everyone has worth and value.I am learning to just listen and learning to honor one another.