Being Fully Qualified

<%image(20050524-deconstruction.jpg|118|123|deconstruct)%> Lately I have been really taken by how easy it is to misread someone. And perhaps even more than that: how easy it is to say something other than what you intend. It kind of comfirms to me the importance of reading and rereading as advocated by deconstruction.

In critiquing the church’s reliance on education for spiritual growth, I have written comments that gave the impression that I consider the church to be wholly reliant on rational thought without giving a second’s thought to the spiritual. Of course I’m just saying that we give too heavily on education and book learning for spiritual growth, but my statements often give an air of drawing up black and white categories. You’re either rational or spiritual and that’s it!

As I reread myself, I often think, “I can’t possibly have meant what I wrote!” It’s a scary thing to reread yourself and to find that you’re making a stronger statement than intended. It makes me want to throw in all kinds of qualifiers and examples of circumstances that are the exception. Of course then the problem becomes that I may not be saying anything. The qualifiers killing all of the power and meaning laid up in my initial statement.

Perhaps part of working through the qualifiers is boldly daring to be misread and misunderstood. That can be hard when you think you have something good to share and then see your precious gem tossed aside by someone who seems to not even grasp it. Running after the gem, you pick it up out of the mud, whipe off the misunderstandings, try to polish it with some qualifiers and represent it, hoping that this time the true value will be appreciated.

I could go on and on about this with examples and qualifiers, but enough for now. Time to dis-qualify.

2 thoughts on “Being Fully Qualified

  1. nate hulfish

    You write, "Perhaps part of working through the qualifiers is boldly daring to be misread and misunderstood…"

    How true that is – especially when it comes to an author trying to give new perspective or the other side of the coin or a new thought altogether. I applaud men like Brian McLaren for boldly daring to be misread and misunderstood in the name of sharing precious gems. Never claiming to have it all right or together, he puts it out there for people to think about – even if they don’t buy it hook, line, and sinker. And he knows (like you and I) that’s it’s okay not to buy it 100% (that’s part of faith).

  2. Ed Post author

    McLaren is my role model for how to graciously receive criticism. I think that part of how he bears it so well is that he truly does find his identity in Christ and not in the opinions of others or even what he himself writes.

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