A VIEW FROM THE FRONT PORCH!
So, ask yourself this question, sitting in the room that you are currently in, maybe you are sitting in your home or at your office. Unless, there is a gas leak or a bomb from a Roadrunner cartoon or the room is engulfed with fire, for most of us we are not in any danger. Then why do we have fears? If nothing can harm us right now then why do we allow our thoughts to influence us to a danger that does not exist?
“Our social behavior varies not just with the objective situation, but with how we construe it.” Says David Myers in his book, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. For example if you are in a healthy and loving relationship you might take a statement by your mate that could be construed as being negative and turn it around to something positive. Such as, “Why don’t you ever help with the kids?” to “You must have had a bad day.” Where unhappy people will take the same statement and responded with some counterattack such as, “Well you don’t work, you just stay home all day.”
Much of our social world is just in our heads. All of us, adults and children are bombarded with social media telling us what we should think, what we should expect, how we should live our lives and to some degree if we are happy or not.
I often will say to people, my words, “As long as we are in relationships, two people will not see the same situation the same way.” The worse witness to a crime is an eye witness. People all deal with how a situation is viewed by others and how that affects them.
So, take some advice from The Andy Griffin Show. Often on Sunday you could find Andy and Barney sitting on the front porch. Aunt Bee would join them after clearing the table and putting away the food. Opie would be sitting on the steps and they would all be just sitting. Talking about the Church service and how “gooooood” Aunt Bee’s apple pie was and that they all had too much.
Do you see what they are doing? They are all looking at their world from the same front porch talking about the events of the day and how it affected each of them. They are building relationships. They are not letting someone else tell them how to view what they saw and experienced. However, their life experiences did affect them differently.
The woman at the Jacob’s well in Samaria. Jesus made a point to travel into a country that was not seen by the Jewish people as a place they would be caught dead in much less at a community well. He asked the woman for a drink of water and she was influenced by her social understanding that she was not worthy to give him or anyone else a drink of water. Jesus saw through her social status and was able to communicate to her that he could see her world through her eyes, so that she could see her world through his eyes.
We need to see the world as Jesus sees the world. We need to see each other as Jesus sees them. We need to see ourselves as Jesus sees us.
Take some time and walk across the street and sit on your neighbors, your spouse, your children’s you co-workers, the person you are most afraid of, sit on their front porch. Share with them your need and see how the two of you can meet those needs. Is anyone thirsty?