Amidst growing divisiveness and turmoil in society and the church, can the choices we make about how we view others actually be reinforcing the very behaviors we seek to correct? Can we create a “state of the heart” that invites more conflict despite our best efforts to reduce it?
In the Arbinger Institute’s book, The Anatomy of Peace, a case is made that the minute we choose to objectify rather than humanize our opponents, we begin an endless cycle of conflict escalation. When we view other people and their ideas as obstacles to overcome rather than human beings with hopes, needs, and cares as important as our own, we set the stage for not only inviting conflict, but actively investing in it. According to the authors, “Seeing an equal person as an inferior object is an act of violence.”
The question is, will we approach others with hearts at war, or hearts at peace? And what might Jesus say to guide our thoughts and actions?
This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how the choices we make about how we view others can either send us spiraling into conflict or lift us to understanding and resolution…and perhaps even to redemption.
Please join us this Sunday, Jan. 10, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what promises to be a dynamic conversation! Happy New Year and welcome back!
Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm
Conversation Begins: 7:00pm