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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


On Wednesdays we have a Bible study with some men, most of whom attend the church my wife and I attend.  This year we have been studying 2 Corinthians.  This morning we were in chapter 10 for the second week.

Part of the discussion this week centered on 10:12.  That verse is one that I memorized decades ago.  I have always understood it in a certain way.  The men this morning did not understand the verse – or at least articulate their understanding of the verse in the same way I have.  In years past leading a study like this I would have pushed really hard on them to understand the passage the way I did.  This morning I did not.
When we are leading a study and someone has a different take on a passage than ours, we need to listen to understand rather than force our understanding on the group...
It may be because I am older, it may be that I have been scarred by many other inconsequential battles, it may be I have finally learned something, whatever the reason this morning I listened and asked questions to try to understand their point of view.  I discovered we were not that far apart they were just looking at it from a slightly different angle.

As leaders we are supposed to be better prepared.  We should have put more time into the assignment than those we are leading – significantly more time.  Since that is the case we come to the meeting with some pretty strong views, as I did this morning.  In order to lead well, in order to engage the gifts of the people with whom we are working through a text, we have to be willing to suspend what we “know” to leave room both for those with us to see things differently.  We have to listen objectively and evaluate what they say with the same degree of passion that we hold our own understanding.  Not easy.  Something I have not done well always.  But not to engage with people in this way does not invite them to utilize their gifts and robs us of the privilege of learning from their interaction with the Holy Spirit.

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