HopeWriters Challenge: Ask Questions, Be Curious

It is so easy to fall into the trap of judging others.  

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

We are living in a season of heated words, lines drawn in sand, quick judgments. It feels like we have lost of the art of discourse, the art of listening well, lacking respect for diverse views. A favorite tweet the other day said, “You can love without agreeing with someone. You can disagree without hating them.” The tweet had a lot of push back, but I think those that did misunderstand the point of Scripture.

… people today find real debate about actual topics difficult, and much prefer the parody of debate which consists of giving a dog a bad name and then beating him for it, and lashing out, too, at anyone who associates with the dog you happen to be beating at the time. There is far too much of that in the church, and the only answer is more listening, more actual thinking, and more careful and humble speaking.

NT Wright, Acts for Everyone

God loves all creation and is actively seeking to redeem to it. In the meanwhile, He treats even those who do not trust Him, do not believe in Him with His providential care, providing rain on the just and unjust. Our goal is to see in each person what God sees. We joyfully work alongside all people, no matter their beliefs, for the flourishing of our society. And when opportunities for respectful discourse arise, we share the gospel out of love.

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

William Blake, public domain

This poem speaks of the divine image stamped on all humans. We avoid labels because they resonate with judgment. We love everyone, because each person bears the image of God even when they don’t yet know Him.

How might we, as Christians, model love and acceptance in the midst of disagreement? What question might you ask when you seek to understand and not label? As one poet wrote, “Learn me, before you even begin to judge me!” (Lorelei poetry)

A goal – to replace judgment with curiosity!
To replace condemnation with questions.

I want to divest myself of pride,
it should be easy,
for I am a recipient of grace.
And it is that grace for which I want to be known! 

And if I can sing, let my songs be full of His glory
If I can speak, let my words be full of His grace
And if I should live or die
Let me be found pursuing this prize
The One that alone satisfies
The treasure of Jesus 

~ Steven Curtis Chapman
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