Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Me to You

Steve Deneff and David Drury have written a book called Soul Shift.  For some reason it does not seem to be available at Amazon but you can get it from the Wesleyan Publishing House site.  This book and the sermon series of which it is a part, in my estimation, is aimed to help us as a congregation mature, as a tool of discipleship.  I have deeply admired the way in which College Wesleyan Church has provided concrete ways to work out our convictions on things like service and small groups.  My sense is that most churches know we should do these things but don't have a clue how to do it (I think of some of my past sermons).

The first "shift" chapter is about moving from "Me to You," and I had some reflections on it.  We are so impenetrable as humans.  Others can see the areas where we need to grow, but it is often very difficult for us to see them.  So those of us who grew up in the church may think, "I already think about how to help others."  And those of us who have had bad self-images in the past think, "It is important to have boundaries and a healthy sense of who you are."

Then I come back to one fundamental aspect of virtue, in my opinion.  Virtue is not about the things that come easy to you, but the things that come hard for you.  So growing in the area of "me to you" is not a measure of how much you think of others "by nature."  Virtue in this area is giving to others in those areas where you don't want to give of yourself, when it is hard.

Maybe it is your personality to think of helping others.  Maybe it is your personality to let others go first.  But is there an area where you cling on to what is yours and could rightly think more of others?  That is an area of potential growth in "me to you."


Jeff said...

Nice thoughts, Ken. I appreciate it.

I also found it on Amazon. The trick is that it's only one word for the title instead of two. It took some digging.


To be fair, it's only a pre-order. Amazon says it's not available until June 1, 2011.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I appreciate what you are saying and this is how I lived out "faith" because I decided to "risk". But, it become senseless if what you "risk" is still leaving you "out on a limb".

Secondly, I think there is another way to understand oneself and bias and that is being open intellectually. Some biased people know it and others don't. this is truly a problem in a religious community where inerrancy and infalliblity is taught as FACT. And everyone and everything is judged by that fact.

Every denomination has its "truth claims". Should the wider Christian community seek to convert others to their viewpoint? That would be futile. Why? Because one's faith is either culturally affimed by one's upbringing and further affirmed in one's experience. Or, it is a self-perpetuating myth one believes because one has finally found a "community", or a place to belong.

Whether one is biased because of a upbringing (tradition) or experience, it is a bias, nonetheless. And biases that are not understoos as bias are dangerous to "peace", because one cannot rationally engage those that disagree, without "feeling" that the stakes are "too high". When this happens, one can be burned at stake, or crucified because one doesn't want to take the time to acknowledge and think about bias in human experience.

Our Contsitution is based on individual liberty of expression, freedom of association, etc. All these liberties should continur to be liberties, irregardless of what a text or tradition has taught us.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

So, what I am saying is that what one ultimatly values must be evaluated and "taken apart" so it can be understood by oneself and defended to others.