Saturday, March 18, 2006

10 WAYS TO CULTIVATE TRUTH IN COMMUNITY

As part of a local Word application of a broader theme development by Asbury Seminary ethics and society teacher Dr. Christine Pohl, here is a pithy list that I constructed this week to share with our faith community (West Morris Street Free Methodist Church) in an effort to apply what it means to be a truth-loving, truth-telling community. My prayer is that we will, more and more, become a safe people and a safe fellowship in which friends are able to bear sometimes complicated and difficult truth.

1. Revere the living, active Word of God as the plumb line in our fellowship.

2. Be filled with the Spirit…so the fullness of truth will be known and shared in redeeming love.

3. Cultivate loving service to others as the baseline for spiritual perception and realistic discernment about the Kingdom of God.

4. Let the disciplines of accountability, truthfulness, forgiveness, and restoration begin within each of us.

5. Always speak truthfully to our neighbors.

6. Guard our thoughts as well as our words when fear, alarm, suspicion, or doubts arise.

7. Remember and bear the greatest truth: God’s reaching, forgiving, restoring, life-changing love.

8. When deception and untruth emerge, address it prayerfully, lovingly, simply, directly, discreetly, fairly, and completely.

9. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

10. Develop accountability networks that let truth-telling grow.

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