Thursday, May 22, 2008

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Pentecost + 2 – Year A

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Worry is very much connected with judgment. The greater the sense of impending judgment, the greater the worry. When these are low it allows for saints and sociopaths to operate out of the same criteria. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference between them and sometimes very easy.

One approach to reducing worry comes from the Appreciative Listening presentation we had yesterday at the annual meeting of United Methodist Transitional/Interim Ministry Specialists (TIMS).

If you can visualize organization (personal or communal) as a mystery to be embraced rather than a problem to solve, we can project that solutions to current issues are already present.

Then we can appreciate and value what is best by focusing on life-giving forces, build on affirmations of what is working.

This leads to an envisioning of what might yet be as we amplify what is working.

Dialog regarding what can yet be becomes possible as we learn from what works.

From here we are open to the innovations needed to arrive at what will be. Out of this agreement we find it easier to walk through this process a next time around.

Click here for more information about Appreciative Inquiry.

Even presuming that this approach works well, it won’t be long before a recognition dawns that worry and judgment are very much still alive and well. Appreciative Listening and other helpful tools need some larger sense that we are living into experiences and revelations of G*D’s preemptive mercy. Extravagant forgiveness and assurance of same are the countervailing forces to judgment and worry. How are you doing at identifying and receiving these larger gifts?

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