I think most people are familiar with a “Straw Man" Argument. It’s a way meant to easily prove that one’s position or argument is superior to an opposing argument. The person using the device misrepresents the other person's argument. The person does this because it then becomes easier to knock down the weaker version of the opposing argument with one's more substantial counter argument. The term straw man derives from the use of scarecrows for military practice. In reality, a scarecrow is far easier to defeat than an actual person. See if any of this sounds familiar…
"Liberals love to…”,
“The Church always…”,
“Republicans always fail to…”,
“Woman only vote for…”
“All men care about is…”
“Politicians, environmentalists, bank executives, minorities care only about…"
Here’s the thing…The “Straw man" argument is a one-sided conversation. There’s no dialogue. Certainly no questions that seek to clarify or understand. In the end, there’s no solution nor relationship. There might be consensus-building with like-minded people. But there’s not humility, healing, growth, or understanding. In the end, we become more polarized. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
This Sunday, we begin a new fall series entitled, “Walk a Mile in their Shoes”. It’s an attempt to counteract the political-racial-societal-economic divide and help us experiment with empathy. It’s a chance to us to grow in grace whether we are on the giving or receiving end of it.
Here's what to do: Capture moments on your camera phone when you end up either on the giving or receiving end of one of the Rhythms. Do this by taking a picture of a persons shoes/feet SO THAT… we might “walk a mile in their shoes”.
It might be a homeless person, an inspiriting artist, a lonely immigrant, gracious neighbors, hurting patient, demanding customers, slow wait staff, helpful vendors, wise elderly, helpful repairman, skilled nurse, hurting executive…then try and go a mile in their shoes. What is it like to be them? What excites them? Worries? Seek to gain their perspective. Listen for how God might speak/teach you about Himself, about them, and yourself.
Post it Mission Hills Facebook page with the hashtag #WalkAMileInTheirShoes & citing which Rhythm.