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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What's My Line?

How might you pursue justice and love this week in your family? Your work place? In an area of social concern? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1039).

These are questions I can advantageously seek input from others on rather than trying to answer them solely myself. If I asked my family and friends to help me with such questions they would likely be taken aback. This may constitute the first time ever that I have asked for their input regarding such matters. By doing so I seem to be asking for more work and effort in areas in which I in the past have carefully mapped out as functions of my own personal prerogative and initiative. Yet it is certainly possible that others can have clearer perceptions than me as to outstanding needs and my abilities to contribute to them. It is always good to ask God and oneself what needs to be done in the way of justice and love, but this bias should not exclude asking for the frank opinion of others. 

I am reluctant to invite evaluation from others for I fear they might come up with answers that are wrong or perhaps dead-on right. I am afraid that they will arrive at suggestions I do not like—requiring more work and resources or in other ways putting me on the spot. Perhaps I fear that they will attempt to exploit me or present me with challenges in which I feel incompetent. I have viewed my pursuit of justice and love as creative acts that are best guided by my own perception and conscience rather than those of others. My self-directed advice today is to break free from this pattern—rather to begin soliciting and considering others input regarding how I might more effectively pursue justice and love. As I plan to retire in about a year, I can usefully get suggestions regarding volunteer work, for example. Often times God speaks most clearly to us through others.

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