Reflecting on slip ups…

21 Feb

One of the (many) things I’ve learned by listening to and reading Greg Koukl over the years is to analyze my conversations after the fact. It’s almost like an athlete watching game tape: we can think through our mistakes and look for areas of improvement.

Walking away from a recent conversation with someone at the University of Central Florida I realized two things that could have gone better. I was asking folks “Why do people believe what they do?” in preparation for an upcoming event on campus and the girl I was speaking made two curious statements.

Reflecting on our conversations helps us to see mistakes and improve

Reflecting on our conversations helps us to see mistakes and improve

The first is not unfamiliar and was along the lines of most college students these days: people have all sorts of different beliefs and its ok for them.

One of the problems with this, is that it is simply unlivable. I didn’t focus on this statement, but as I walked down the sidewalk I thought of something that might have connected. What if I had said “I believe that the arena is that way” while pointing in the opposite direction of the arena? Clearly my belief is wrong – and I hope she would acknowledge that. This doesn’t disprove religious pluralism but for me it begs the question: do we have access to any religious knowledge in the same way that we have access to geographical knowledge? This would have made for interesting conversation at least.

The other thing she said was that she had no strongly held beliefs. I was somewhat astounded and just remarked that she needed to get passionate about something! Again, after leaving a thought came to mind. We ALL have a worldview and even if it’s latent in us it’s something we hold to dearly. In thinking about how to demonstrate this I wondered about asking how she would feel if I stole her purse. I don’t know how she would have responded, but I suspect she wouldn’t have liked it. This gets at the idea that we think people should treat each other well and we believe that what’s ours is really ours.

If you have a spiritual conversation with a friend – even if it goes well – take some time afterwards to reflect and even journal about what you thought worked out and what maybe missed the mark. I’ll hopefully have these examples on hand next time I encounter one of these responses.

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