Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Great Expectations

I had to get some lab tests this morning and as I was leaving the nurse commented that she liked it that I am "a man of few words". Sadly, it is more a function of my being introverted than it is of being wise. As I left, I was thinking about the bible verse that says "let your words be few" (Eccl. 5:2), but I couldn't remember where was, so when I got to my computer I googled, and came across and article with the title"Let Your Words Be Few". Before I finished reading, I glanced down to the bottom to read about the author, who is an Evangelical Christian and a candidate for a PhD in Theology. I didn't realize it at first, but I subconsciously shifted my expectation of what I would read. I was expecting a disagreement, that I would find something that just rubbed me the wrong way. But I didn't, and I really liked his reference to James' writing about the tongue and the mayhem it causes, and Jesus' words about good people drawing from the good things in their hearts.

What really struck me, though, was my own poor expectation. Why, in reading just a few words about this person, was I willing to ascribe various attitudes to him. Why could I not just hear a fellow Christian relate his journey in Christ without expecting something disagreeable? Very often, we find what we expect to find. If we expect to find something agreeable, we latch onto those agreeable things and gloss over the disagreeable ones. Likewise, if we expect the worst, we latch onto the bad things and overlook the good.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. If I am not listening to others with belief and hope, I am not listening with love.