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The Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Asking Questions

August 10, 2015

Photo by Marcel

Location: Faith Community Church, Edmonds

  • The purpose of asking questions is to gain understanding. Oftentimes, our view of a situation is tainted by our own experience and preconceived notions. We think we know the details of a situation, just because we make an assumption that is consistent with our own preferences and past experience. In our minds, we fill in the blanks to extrapolate a few data points into a coherent story. When that happens, it becomes our story.
  • But asking open and honest questions can help us do better than that. This is harder than it looks. We all know a sentence like “Your Honor, the prosecution is leading the witness!” Our prejudices show even in the way we are asking questions!
  • Just think of the two blind men, each feeling a different part of the elephant. The man holding the elephant’s ears may believe he is at a car wash, while the man touching the tail may believe he is at JoAnn Fabrics.
  • The picture for today is taken of something in church that each of us has seen many (sometimes literally hundreds) times. But we see it in a different light when we question what we really see, and change our distance and angle.
  • Jesus was not interested in superficial truths, nor in making assumptions.
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