I believe there's a difference between being closed-minded and careful-minded.
Closed-minded means assuming you know the answer as soon as someone opens their mouth. Before you even consider their point, before you even look at the evidence, you're done listening. You've made your decision, and you're sticking to it.
This is foolish for three reasons:
- You alienate the person talking to you.
- You may miss out on a good idea.
- You may miss out on a great conversation.
I think the key to being a Christian is to be careful-minded.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5
Here's the thing about that verse: in order to demolish an argument against God, you need to take a thought captive. You need to hang on to it and inspect it, and then you need to test it against the Word. I know this verse is commonly used for whatever invades our thought life, but if you read the rest of the chapter, Paul talks about boasting Christians who think they're better than other Christians.
Which is often when we become closed-minded.
If nothing else, giving an idea the opportunity to be heard can deepen your friendship with someone or start an interesting dialogue. And with a non-Christian, that could mean all the difference in their salvation. One conversation could lead to many more.
And, mind you, I'm not asking you to forget what you believe, or to acquiesce just to be nice. That's not a good idea. But take ideas captive—even other people's—to inspect and consider prayerfully before you shoot them down. That's not too much to ask.
The next time someone brings up a point you think you disagree with, take time to investigate it. Compare it to the Bible and what God has to say on the topic. Then give a thoughtful, careful answer.
What do you think? Are you a careful-minded Christian?