Reflection

Finding Common Ground

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

Finding Common Ground

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” ~ Rumi


Most religions adhere to the belief that human beings are meant to live in community with one another. The abundant religious variations of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” means both that we behave towards one another as we desire for ourselves, and that we are to also seek to forgive one another as we would seek to be forgiven.

This is in recognition that, regardless of how we feel about another person, or what may have been done to us, God is constantly calling on us to reconcile to and with one another. Part of the reconciliatory process is finding common ground—intentionally focusing on areas of agreement rather than areas of disagreement.

This does not mean that we ignore or deny differences, or shut out the reality of conflict or harm. Rather, we choose to begin our conversation towards peace and reconciliation by understanding where we share overlapping values and goals, and try to build from and around those. Over time, we discover that there are areas where we undo and displace disagreement and disconnect, which opposition would not have resolved.

Reflections

  1. What if, rather than focusing on ways that we hurt one another, we instead first sought the spaces where we value and love one another, and look to work and expand from there?
  2. We at times do not want to connect with those we view in opposition to us because we worry that this will make us vulnerable to being hurt by them. I John 4:18 says that “perfect love casts out fear.” Consider a situation of opposition that you are experiencing. What does it look like to love like God, and choose to interact with one another from His love rather than our fear, hurt, or anger?

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