I was really impressed by this article this week:
I thought it especially appropriate for Some Grace With That, because it deals with one of the hardest topics in all of modern day American Christianity – listening respectfully to views with which you don’t agree.
If anyone should be masters of this it ought to be Christ’s followers. Sounds a little like loving our enemy, no? And I know some of us are.
I, however, am not, and I sense that I’m in the majority. At least, Christians like me are by far the best known version of us.
I really urge you to read the full article, it’s not that long and it’s well worth it – the end of the story alone is paradigm cracking. If you have an extra 11 minutes, there is even an embedded TED talk by the researcher.
But in case you have graciously shared with this little blog all the reading time you have right now (thank you!) I’ll briefly summarise:
- Locate someone with views very different from your own, and take them to lunch (or coffee, dinner, you get the gist).
- Ask them, in the course of this meal, these three things:
- Share some of your life experiences with me.
- What issues deeply concern you?
- What have you always wanted to ask someone from the other side?
3. And share your responses to the same.
This will require, of course, really listening, not attacking, but it can be done.
The article suggests that these three questions allow us to see the bigger picture of ‘The Other Side‘ and realise that we may have a number of values, interests and experiences in common – far more than we’d have imagined.
From my own experience, I can see that. I’ll be writing a handful of posts on the game changers that transformed my approach to Christianity, and as I think back on these experiences in light of this article, the common thread I see is that they allowed (forced?) me to see the bigger picture of the people starring in them, and to see how much more we were alike than different.
My dream for Some Grace With That is to become a sort of virtual lunch date like that proposed in this article.
So, pull up a chair, grab a cappuccino, (OMG try this lemon bar, it’s AMAZING! sorry, back on track) and if you will be so kind…
Share some of your life experiences with me.
What issues deeply concern you?
What have you always wanted to ask someone from the other side?
Feel free to reply in the comments, if you wish.