Concise Thoughts

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Caution is not the same as fear.

When you cannot be an expert on everything, deciding whose expertise you trust becomes more important.

When the issues about which you cannot become an expert involve life and death, deciding whom you trust becomes exponentially more crucial.

When disagreeing with another person, it can be hard not to judge their character as well as their position.

We shouldn’t assume that ours is the only reasonable conclusion one could reach. We shouldn’t assume that those who reach other conclusions do so due to deficiencies in their character.

Even if someone holds a position with which we disagree and it stems from a flaw/weakness/deficiency in their character, they may have other tremendous strengths. We are all a mixed bag.

As we get angrier and more entrenched in our disagreements, kindness and grace become more, not less, important.

Compassion and empathy are lacking. Period.

Doing to others as we would have them do to us takes more work than most of us assume. Considering how I would want to be treated in someone else’s situation demands more from me than assuming they must want what I want.

Dwelling on others’ criticisms of us is probably not the best expenditure of our energy.

Dinosaurs are cool.

Not everyone else is in the same place in their spiritual journey as you are. Sometimes no one else is in the same place in their spiritual journey as you are.*

Assuming an insight that quakes your world is exactly what everyone else needs to hear is evidence you’ve forgotten this truth.

Finding someone else who is, in some aspect, journeying where you are is very exciting. (And having someone belittle that really hurts.)

Our spiritual journeys are neither linear nor even aiming at the same goal.** Telling someone they aren’t “as far along” or “in a different place” (i.e. not as spiritually advanced as you) is forgetting this truth.

If we believe this, if we really believe this, then envying someone else’s success is not just a waste of emotional resources, it’s missing the point.

Judging others without considering their suffering is dehumanizing them. We do this all the time. I do this all the time. God, forgive me.

I would rather be an instrument of God’s grace than prove to people that I’m right…and this gets harder to choose Every. Single. Day.


Usually you can count on me to be more long-winded. I don’t do this often, because I like to consider things in depth and go down different rabbit trails paths of thought. But today it struck me that some things need to be expressed more concisely. I am pondering all of these. I hope at least one helps you.

*Probably not literally true but you might not have any contact or exposure to anyone else who is “where you’re at.”

**Yes, I do believe we are growing into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), but I’ve learned that the fullness of Christ for me may look so different than the fullness of Christ for you that I can’t accurately compare these, either.

8 thoughts on “Concise Thoughts

  1. Teresa Musselman

    “ We shouldn’t assume that ours is the only reasonable conclusion one could reach [and that] that those who reach other conclusions do so due to deficiencies in their character.

    Even if someone holds a position with which we disagree and it stems from a flaw/weakness/deficiency in their character, they may have other tremendous strengths. We are all a mixed bag.”. Wow, did I ever need to read this. I am in such inner turmoil over family members who support the “other guy.” I need to remember both of these statements and hold them close, because you’re so right, it does get harder all. the. time. Thank you for this.

  2. Loren

    “Not everyone else is in the same place in their spiritual journey as you are. Sometimes no one else is in the same place in their spiritual journey as you are.*

    Assuming an insight that quakes your world is exactly what everyone else needs to hear is evidence you’ve forgotten this truth.

    Finding someone else who is, in some aspect, journeying where you are is very exciting. (And having someone belittle that really hurts.)”

    Why can’t all my close friends have existential and faith crises at the same time I do? So frustrating!

    Thanks for this Mike. I’m a sucker for good axioms and these are those. Sometimes, it’s enough just to find someone who will listen to your questions and make room for your misgivings. They don’t have be in the same place spiritually to appreciate where they come from.

  3. Mitchell Yoder

    Mike, I greatly appreciate your writing, and this post pushed me to let you know. Thank you for putting things into words. I especially like when you take my thoughts and express them clearly so I can understand better what I’m thinking. 🙂 Hope you are well. Bendiciones

    • Thanks. Mitch. Great to hear from you and truly encouraging to hear that this spoke to you. God’s funny that way. More credit to a loving God than my mind reading abilities. Bendiciones a ti!

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