To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nobility and a Change in Thinking

It isn't always easy to change...to take a different view or position than you've held before. A shift in thinking in one area can have big consequences in all the other areas of your life. It can have a huge impact on your relationships. For the last several months Rob and I have been studying through a topic that has drastically changed our view on a lot of things. And it has put us at odds with our family and some friends. (By 'at odds' I only mean that we no longer see things the same way and not that there is any contention.)
It can be quite hard to leave something you have in common with others and step out into a new place and be different from them. There is comfort in solidarity...in sameness. But no matter how uncomfortable we may be, it would be foolish and disobedient to not go where God has lead.
There is a way to move through this kind of thing that is honoring to God and respectful of other people in our lives. We must commit to listening...hearing what each other is saying and being careful to not hear what isn't being said. It's very easy to take it personally and attach motives and meaning when we feel like our beliefs, our way, is being challenged. Instead we should be what Luke said in the book of Acts about the people of Berea who were noble in the pursuit of truth.
A shift in thinking can be a breeding ground on both sides for sin...resentment, arrogance or a lack of graciousness. The temptation is there to campaign for others to be on our side...it shores up our own feelings on the subject and, in our view at least, weakens the other persons position if we have others who disagree. But it can also force us to look at what we believe...to search the Scriptures and know what we believe. To bounce against our foundation and test it's strength. We may find that everything holds firm and steady. We may find that we need to do a little more studying and nailing our convictions into place, though.
And we shouldn't be afraid of that. Honest and open discussions can yield good fruit in our lives if we let it.



4 comments:

iarepilotswife said...

Hey, that's me in the picture!

iarepilotswife said...

I can't tell you how many times I've read this post, Marty.

It's good - stuff I've been trying to crunch.

Marty said...

Ha...a lot of it came out of our conversations. You're good encouragement for me :-)

lovely loser said...

this is so cool to read. i've been confronted with this "difference of ideas" thing already in college. it's scary when you can't give a reason for what you believe, especially when the other person is so well versed and is 10% convinced that they're right.

but, i think it's so healthy or us spiritually. i've learned a little bit of doubt is good, because it drives you further and pushes you deeper to truly understand what you believe and why, like you said,