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Finding common ground (3)

4 December 2023 ‘I…tried to experience things from their point of view.’ 1 Corinthians 9:22 MSG

To mark out common ground, we must be adaptable. Thomas Aquinas said, ‘To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.’ We must be willing to move from where we are to where they are; to adapt and try to see things from their point of view. In practical terms, that means whenever you’re aware of distance between yourself and the person you’re trying to reach, it’s good to search for something in your own background and experience that relates to theirs. Don’t start the process by telling them about yourself. Begin by moving to where they are and trying to see things from their perspective. Adapt to them – don’t think they should adapt to you. Instead of telling people how you feel, find out how they feel. Instead of telling them what you see, discover how they see things. Instead of trying to tell them what you want, discover what they want. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.’ The truth is, you can’t take someone on a journey unless you’re willing to start where they are. Only then can you truly connect and lead them to where you want to take them. You can know a lot about a person and still not understand them. More information isn’t always the answer. The Bible says, ‘Deep calls to deep’ (Psalm 42:7 NIV), and to really understand people, you must move beyond head knowledge and learn to speak the language of the heart.

Archive

Hypocrisy Wednesday 21 February
The ‘most important’ thing Tuesday 20 February
The breaking process (3) Monday 19 February
The breaking process (2) Sunday 18 February
The breaking process (1) Saturday 17 February
Prepare yourself Friday 16 February
God ideas Thursday 15 February

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