This Week in Church: Curiosity Versus Condemnation

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

This week in church we talked about curiosity vs. condemnation.

When we disagree with someone, do we approach them with curiosity, or do we just condemn them?

One is open and a little more human than the other. One creates a softer space where a hard conversation can happen.

Curiosity takes the focus off of you and your rightness and puts it on the other person and their story. What brought them to this place? What does their stance, whatever it is, really mean to them?

I am going to suggest, however, that there is more to healthy disagreement than simple curiosity. Curiosity is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't put up many boundaries, and sometimes boundaries are necessary.

At some point, I would suggest that disengagement is another option. The disengagement doesn't have to come from condemnation, it can say, "I understand how you see things and what brought you to this place, but the place where I am accepted and safe is somewhere different." Or more simply, it can say, "I love you, and I have to leave." And the leaving can be a step away from the conversation, the topic, or the relationship as a whole.

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