Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Getting from "Here" to "There"

By Belinda

One of the books I'm reading at the moment is,Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. The book is recommended reading for a course I am taking on Conflict Mediation. The authors had me at the title (and the sub-title: "Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.)

So far into the book I am convinced--we all have blind spots and are adept only at spotting those of others. In fact, the chapter I am currently reading starts out by quoting Matthew 7:3 to illustrate this point:

Matthew 7:3

New King James Version (NKJV)
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

The trouble is that all too often I read the Bible as though it is a collection of stories, about "someone else," (those handily self righteous Pharisees,) rather than turning the searchlight onto my own heart; asking the hard questions of myself.

In my course we learned the principle of moving from judgement to curiousity when considering the actions of other. That is such a potentially powerful shift; from: "You did this"--and sometimes even "because..." to: "I saw (or heard, or felt) this; help me understand..."

I do poorly at this. But the first step is to know what to aim for.

At this point in the book I am tempted to hopelessness, so convinced am I of the blindness; both willful and unconscious; of the human race.

But I serve and trust the God of all Hope. This is this morning's Daily Light: 

But the fruit of the Spirit is… peace.
To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
God has called you to peace.—“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.”—May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.—You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.—“Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”Great peace have those who love your law.

  • Morning: Galatians 5:22; Romans 8:6; 1 Corinthians 7:15; John 14:27; Romans 15:13; 2 Timothy 1:12; Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 32:17; Isaiah 32:18; Proverbs 1:33; Psalm 119:165
Listening to him...I do so little of that in comparison to listening to the clamouring voice of my own opinions and prejudices. 

Dear Lord, forgive me. Thank you that your ways are predicated on the fact that we know little, and what we think we know is often distorted by our own pain, upbringing, and the warping of the world. How I thank you for your promise in Romans 12 , that transformation is possible. Thank you that you are the opener of eyes, minds and hearts.

Only with God's transforming work in us, can we get from "here"(the land of the blind)  to "there," (the land of those who see with his eyes.)


Anonymous said...

I remember my mom telling me when I was a teen, and going through that extremely "critical of others stage" (an attempt to make oneself feel better during a turbulent time)that we often see the fault in another that is our own. Yikes! Yes - it is easy to recognize because with live with it. I have never forgot that. I'd like to say that I always think about it - but that wouldnt' be true :-) - but I've never forgotten it.

Judging others is way too easy - but judge not lest you be judged. Another tuffy!

Belinda said...

Anonymous, I have noticed that in others often--the critical eye turned on a characteristic held (sometimes hidden) by the person themselves. Are you saying that could be true of me too? :) Of course! It's just so hard to see backwards--God made our eyes to point outwards. :)

Dave Hingsburger said...

I don't know what you mean, you do that, I don't.

Belinda said...

Alas, Dave, if only...

naomi said...

after all the out pouring that went on tonight and then coming home and finding this particular blog and reading the Romans 12 reference, it has proven once again to me that truly I am on a new journey. A journey that will take me to far better places than I have been in the past! And it is heartwarming to know that there are accepting people out there like you who truly do not judge others but rather open themselves up to be listeners and believers of words of pain spoken in a time of complete and total brokenness.
It is because of a merciful, loving and compassionate God that can allow journeys from there to here to happen.
blessing to you in more ways than words and hugs can say

Belinda said...

Dearest Naomi,
I just looked up the meaning of your name--It is "Beautiful, pleasant, delightful!" and the place I looked first, noted that spelled backwards, it says, i-moan!!! You have stepped into your true name. How cool that God brought that song, "I will change your name" to mind last night. Praise God for the wounded healers in the room. Praise God for your deliverance and freedom.