• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

My perception, your perception

Do you remember the majority/minority discussion of a few posts ago (https://worldteamjourney.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/what-difference-does-it-make/)?  Well, I heard another example of how this can creep into our relationships.

Today, I was talking with a good friend of mine who is a pastor.  He recently went back to school to do further theological study and enrolled in a school with an excellent reputation. However, the school is not of the same denomination or theological persuasion as is he.

The first week ‘back to school’, he found himself in a majority/minority situation.  As he sat around the lunch table with others, he heard comments about what others thought people in his denomination believed.  Most of the time, he commented, their ‘perceptions’ were incorrect; as if they had built some kind of ‘straw man’ which they could easily take apart through theological argument.

All he wanted, he shared, was for someone to ask him what he actually thought and believed.

Time and time again, I underestimate the deceitfulness of my own heart, and the heart of others.  How easy it is to be callous to the feelings of other brothers and sisters who may not see things the same way we do.

my-percpetionThe rub in all this is that by failing to listen to others, we miss an opportunity to ‘grow up more into Christ who is our Head’.

We will certainly not always agree with one another theologically, but listening well to others, being able to articulate how another perceives a spiritual, theological truth opens a door to deeper community.

2 Responses

  1. Sadly this is where I have seen non-believers check out in relationships with Believers….I have been challenged here to be listening and showing respect to people; to offer them community by paying attention and caring for them whether I agree with them or not.
    I have felt the rub of being a “minority” of sorts as adult student in a college course….it’s had it’s moments; a good reminder of how it feels.

    • All of us have felt that majority/minority struggle. Our need is to turn the struggle into an opportunity to grow in our skill of listening well to others. Thanks Gwen for sharing your experience.

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