Wednesday, 10 August 2011
To Prove or Not to Prove...?
So recently I became aware that something I had written, about someone else, had hurt another person very dear to me. My initial intentions for what I had written had been endearment, and adoration for this person, and pleasure at being like them. Unfortunately, to others who might not know me personally, or intimately, and not know the person I was referring to, my words could have been taken as mocking and thoughtless. And I totally understand how my words had caused pain. For this I am completely sorry. But it got me to thinking about how what I write, or what I say can be so often misinterpreted by others. And for me, in my writing, my being misunderstood, or people interpreting my words in a way that I had not intended, is not at all uncommon.
But how often does this happen to all of us in general life?
I know that I probably frequent the misunderstood table more than some, and this is the curse for having a few too many opinions, and being too honest for my own good. But I am quite sure that all of us, whether as overt with our thoughts and opinions or not, will have had our intentions, or words misunderstood at various times.
And knowing how often this happens got me to thinking about our interpretation of the bible.
If I, as a human, can write something, which is intended to reveal my heart for others and my questioning about past experiences, and have it so completely misunderstood by those who know me best, what makes me so sure that my interpretation of the bible is completely accurate, being that the bible was also written by humans, and to take it a step further, has also been translated into my language so that I can understand it?
I know, that in my many years in church I have heard completely opposing messages based on the same scriptures. Both opposing messages have been preached by well meaning pastors, or 'spiritual leaders'. Neither of the messages were intended to cause harm to the listener, despite some may having done so. And both parties truly believed that they were preaching the truth. And more than this, both had many others backing their interpretation, and much theological support.
So therefore, how can we know which interpretation is actually Truth?
And if our interpretation cannot be 100% accurate, how can we ever justify confidence in our communication of the Truth to others?
This leaves me wondering if this is even our role at all?
And I love to listen to others' journeys!
If their interpretation of the bible, or life, differs from mine, is it my job to try and convince them of what I believe and my interpretation?
It could be that my interpretation is wrong. As it could be just as likely that theres is wrong also.
And with so much variation, and so many grey area's in life, and so much that is between the black and white, (as my darling friend so suitable named her new blog), why is it that we cling so desperately to so much that is subject to change and interpretation?
So therefore, is our role not to simply, as Jesus puts it to Peter, “Feed my sheep”? And if this is the case, what are we all most hungry for?...well my answer to that, as I am sure you will all have guessed already, is love. But once again, this is just my interpretation! :-)