Monday, March 07, 2011

A Season for Nonviolence Reflections - Week 6

"When people honor each other; there is a trust established to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect." - Blaine Lee

All human beings are made from the same stuff. We all have a heart, a mind and a spirit. We were all made in the image of God. We all have the divine breath flowing through us.

Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill states in a popular NOOMA DVD Breathe, "There's this paradox at the heart of what it means to be a human being. We're fragile and vulnerable, we come from the dust."

"And yet at the same time we've been breathed into by the creator of the universe. And this divine breath is in every single human being."

We Are All Special
We are all God's creation and we are all special in God's eyes. When we treat others with disrespect we disrespect the Creator. Everyone is worthy to be respected for this reason alone. When we see others as valuable we see their potential as human beings. Even when they act in unbecoming ways we can still respect them.

It is true that many people are disconnected from their purpose and doing things that do not serve life. This is a tragedy of resources. We must make wise choices when around these individuals and possibly we will choose to not associate with these persons to protect ourselves or others; but we can still see them as human beings and, if safe to do so, respect them.

Respect Creates New Possibilities
When we offer others respect we offer love and new possibilities. When we judge we close doors on opportunities to be heard or work together. We can disagree about politics, religion and other topics and still respect others. There is a way to do this without judging and seeing the other as the enemy or bad guy.

By choosing to not judge and instead see people with unlimited potential we change the way we see others and the world. This internal shift can create new possibilities and social change.

This week look at others through this lense and try to put yourself in their shoes. Especially those that you have a hard time getting along with. What needs do they have and what values are they operating from? May we mourn their strategies if they are unhealthy, but still choose to see them as human beings with unlimited potential. When we do this we honor them and respect them.

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." - Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)

"One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:6 (NASB)

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