By Nancy Virden (c)2020
Realistic. Experienced. Knowledgeable.
Ignorant. Close-minded. Opinionated.
We all know people who fit the latter category and yet claim the first. If our goal is to know and understand little we will reach it, and maintain our success for a lifetime.
I want to introduce you to Leon, a man I met thirty -two years ago. We were in our twenties. He invited me to travel with him to a women’s prison where we sang and offered encouragement. My expectation was that he and I would lift the prisoners’ spirits, but they actually lifted mine. Those women are still unforgettable.
Leon had impressed me as someone with strong opinions yet kind. That is, until two incidents came to my attention.
A young woman who was fighting cancer told me some people suggested she was dying due to lack of faith. “Some people” included Leon. A few senior citizens in our church were more contemplative and less impulsive than us younger folk, sometimes saying no too often. Leon said loud enough for them to hear, “We have to hope they will hurry up and die.”
These stories jarred me. Leon’s self-perceived knowledge and experience left him proud. He had a serious case of ignorant, close-minded, and opinionated thinking.
However, do you remember the prison ministry story? I went to the prison expecting to be the inspiration for some wayward women. My closed-mind had to be opened in order for me to see how God loves and meets everyone exactly where they are.
What if our goal is to listen with an open mind? With insight we can grow knowledge, discernment, and humility. Once we see and hear people without preconceived ideas, we will have more love for our neighbors.
That is our mandate as humans and supports.
Today’s Helpful Word
The discerning heart seeks knowledge
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
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