While my sister and I agree on much, we also disagree about much. In a world were we seem to have lost the ability to have civil discourse, we both ask God to purify our minds. We pray for truth and understanding.
This means we share information with each other. We discuss it. We share our perspectives without the goal of changing the other’s mind. That’s right, the goal is to expand understanding not change the other’s mind.
I can ‘t say this is easy. The need to be right is deeply imbedded into my being. Stephen Covey, in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effetive People, tells his readers to “seek first to understand; then be understood.” My goal has to be to understand. As soon as it shifts to trying to prove I’m right, my ego and fear take over. I begin to push my agenda rather than listen to a different perspective.
I use a worship Bible that has prayers, song lyrics and quotes in the margin. As I was reading the this scripture the other night. There was a prayer that struck me.
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14 NIV)
Here is the prayer, “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world have mercy on me. Cleanse my conscience, so that I might serve you not in guilt but in grace. Purify my mind so that I might know you not in falsehood, but in truth. Sanctify my will, so that I might approach you not in fear but in freedom. Transform my life so that I might worship you not in part but in whole, always offering all that I am to you as a living sacrifice. Lamb of God, whose blood washes away all sin, have mercy on me (Zondervan, 2000).
The prayer reminds me to ask God to clear conscience, purfiy my mind, and sanctify my will. If my mind and will are focused on God, I can genuinely learn from opposing views. I approach others with mercy and grace first. Lord, let it be!
How is your mind? How is your will? Do you need cleansing? Can you seek first to understand? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.