Sunday, 21 June 2015

Are You Just Another Brick in the Wall?

Are you a Mason?

Yes, I'm talking about a secret society, but it's not the Freemasons. This society is so secret that most of its adherents don't even know they are members.

Has anyone ever said to you "you wouldn't understand?" Have you ever said something like, "He has built a wall around his heart?"

What if I told you that you might have contributed to the construction?

I have recently found out that I may have built a wall around someone else's heart, or at least contributed a few bricks. You see, I found out that someone that I care about dearly has been suffering in silence. This person has made some choices and mistakes in life, and has been regretting them. Unfortunately, I have been rather outspoken about my opinion on these subjects. So, while this person was hurting, I was probably one of the last people to be considered for the role of confidante.

Can you relate? Have you ever found out that someone close to you has done some of the things that you preach against? If so, then you might know the feeling of shame that I must now endure. It makes me realize I have been far less like Christ than I should have been. So what do we do with that?

How do we express our thoughts on subjects that we feel are important without contributing bricks to someone else's wall? There must be a way to express our opinions without causing someone else to feel that we are not approachable. After all, the situation is not improved if we are the ones behind the wall. I think the key may lie in one detail from the situation that sparked this post: I have known this person for almost half my life. You see, I have been making a concerted effort over the past several years to tone down the religious rhetoric, but this person has known me during a part of my life when I was regularly opening my mouth long enough to change feet.

It seems to me that the problem may lie in the use of absolutes when discussing what we understand to be "truth." We Christians can be the worst at this. We make statements, often publicly, based on the combination of our personal story and our reflections on scripture. While those statements and observations may be valid, we must remember that the only way to prove that matters of faith are correct (or false) is to die.

Perhaps we should learn a lesson from Socrates. One of the things that have caused him to remain relevant over the years is that he would ask probing questions that would cause his fellow interlocutors to consider evidence and eventually discover "truth" on their own. This has become known as Socratic Questioning. So instead of saying some vice or choice is wrong, we should perhaps lead those around us on a journey of questioning that will help them to find the truth. Occasionally, we may even find out in the process, that it is what we understand to be the truth that needs correcting.

I hope that people who have gotten to know me over the past decade or so would find it hard to believe that I might be unapproachable. I am still a work in progress. To the person who sparked this post (you know who you are), I'm sorry. Please forgive me, and give me a chance to pull down the bricks that I have laid.

God help me to abandon this society of Masons.

by Guest Blogger: Waldo Rochow
Photo Credit: Rose Morelli, Flickr Creative Commons

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