1. We overuse a metaphor we still find helpful. “Journey” may be overused and feel self-helpish or new agey or just flakey, but how else do we offer a positive frame for a period of time that has been filled with ups and downs and remains unpredictable? The metaphor offered clarity at some point and that’s why it gets repeated.
2. We inadequately express ideas that cannot be adequately expressed. For example, I believe God acted to reconcile the division between us and God’s self. You may disagree with the assumption that a division existed (exists). You may disagree with the conviction that God had to act to reconcile. However, we offer ideas in hopes that people will collaborate with us as we seek truth.
3. We insert our own human failings into difficult situations. We hug when we’re supposed to shake hands. We refrain from touching when we’re supposed to offer affection. We say the wrong thing trying to console. We process our own insecurities when trying to relate to someone else’s. Appropriate responses differ from person to person and we have not been given the mind-reading gifft. Good intentions do not excuse bad actions, but we chose being present and making a mistake instead of leaving someone to suffer in isolation.
4. We ask honest questions. Not every question is a rhetorical question, a loaded question, or a trap. Sometimes, we are asking a genuine question. Instead of filling in the blanks with your judgment of what you think we’re thinking, could you simply fill in the blanks with what you’re thinking?