Sunday, October 21, 2018

Enjoy meaningful conversations

Joyce Sasse - A friend and I have very different points of view when it comes to both religion and politics. But I respect his thoughts, appreciate his friendship and enjoy our meaningful conversations.

My parents would have told me when you disagree with someone you avoid conflict by staying on safe ground – talk about “the weather”!

From my own experience, I’ve learned I’m never able to change another person’s mind by arguing with them.

Today I see too many others huddling exclusively with like-minded people. Often this leads to one becoming entrenched in single-minded thinking.

I have a healthy dose of curiosity. Combine that with a firm belief that we live in a dynamic world and our Creator is a vital, living entity who encourages us share our differences.

That’s why I value those who view important issues from diverse perspectives. In conversation we aren’t afraid to risk saying what we think because we respect each other enough to listen … to express our differences … to find common ground … Sometimes we even reach insightful conclusions.

I think back to the Genesis stories. With each act of creating the world, it is written that God saw what was accomplished “and it was good” – alerting us to believe improvements are possible.

Recall, too, the ultimate instructions Jesus gave his followers. He started by referring to the “Old Covenant” – the Book of Laws his people had observed for generations. 

The Torah has about it a lot that is harsh. But the “New Covenant” alternative, brought to the people by God’s Son, invited followers to live according to a replacement-law - “love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) The change is significant.

It is possible for us to stagnate our thinking and our approach to life. Do that and we can find ourselves mired in life-sucking quick-sand.

However life can be a lot more inviting, engaging and invigorating when we open ourselves to diverse ways of thinking and grow socially, politically and spiritually.

Enjoy your day!

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