So far, we have talked about the importance of paying attention, seeing, and naming and how all of those speak to the injustices of our hearts. In today’s post, we take a look at our freedom to act. “We come to the subject of acting at this point not because it is sequentially the last of the three (after perceiving and naming), nor because it is third in importance, but because the visibility of our actions wrongly inflates their importance just as the invisibility of our perceiving and naming wrongly deflates their importance (pg 161).”
As I have been reviewing Mark Labberton’s book, The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor, I was reminded again that the acts of seeing, perceiving, and naming can either be humble or prideful. So I wanted to share a few passages about what the Bible says concerning our humble interactions with each other:
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34)’ (1 Pet. 5:5b [NIV]).”
Part 2: Seeing
Chapter 3: The Problem of Misperceiving
People in desperate circumstances do desperate things and rationalize each step along the way. – Mark Labberton
On Saturday, I attended a seminar on the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte campus where discussed the topic: Rich Church, Poor Church: Exploring Affluence and Poverty within the American Christian Community. One of the most insightful speakers of the day was educator and author, Dr. Ruby Payne. Dr. Payne expounded upon her research and life experiences concerning the hidden class rules, providing specific examples from people in generational poverty, middle class, and wealthy communities. For each category, she addressed the driving forces for decision-making, the way each community views other people and “the world,” and our natural responses to physical fighting and food. For example, in her article titled, Understanding and Working with Students and Adults in Poverty, Dr. Payne wrote:
For those in generational poverty, the driving forces for decision-making are survival, relationships, and entertainment.
For those in the middle class, the driving forces for decision-making are work and achievement.
For those who are wealthy, the driving forces for decision-making are social, financial, and political connections.