Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sinning Differently

I have been reading a very interesting book, Crucial Conversations (Kerry et al.). It was suggested to me by the evaluators who sat through the last reverse evaluation we had in my division (last January) and thought that some of the representatives from our various branches would be more comfortable presenting negative information if they knew some of the principles in this book.

Right now, the leaders in my division are reading the book. We meet every two weeks to discuss the next chapter. (Leadership development is very important to me, and I insist that all leaders actively participate. For this book, they want to participate.)

After we leaders are finished, I will have all the staff read and discuss the book. Most important, I intend, per suggestion of the evaluators of the evaluation, to develop a cadre from among the various branches who will be fully trained to represent thei peers at the future reverse evaluations and not feel uncomfortable when they have to share negative feedback.

One of the sentences I came across in the book provides a very helpful concept. There are times that we all run across people we have difficulty getting along with. At the same time, we do have to work together, and we do have to have useful conversations. It is often hard not to judge these individuals as "difficult" and to accept them as good people. The sentence in the book that I found so helpful for dealing with those I consider difficult was the following:
"Lord, help me forgive those who sin differently than I."
Finding a way to respect and love everyone is an important part of being a reasonable leader. It is a topic I have blogged about before (see Loving Impossible People) because I run into this need almost every day. It is amazing how thinking about sinning differently can put a new perspective on matters, how remembering that all of us are children of God can create the ability to respect another, and how great a positive difference just a little respect can make.


  1. This is a very deep prayer. Makes me stop and reflect.

    Thanks for sharing this concept Elizabeth.


  2. That is an interesting thought about forgiving those who sin differently. Respect for each other is a great lesson to learn.

  3. WOW. That is an incredible statement. If we truely pray that prayer, and learn to forgive, we will have respect and God will take away all our judgemental attitudes. I love it and am going to start praying it, as I have a tendency to judge.

  4. Anonymous, Connie, Shanda, I am happy to hear that this prayer affected you deeply, as it did me. Gives pause for thought!

  5. Amrita, I forgot that you told me that you have been popping up as anonymous! I need to come by Yesu Garden and see how you are doing...I've been locked up between really intensive periods at work, lots going on at the mission, and trying to get Believer into Waiting in shape for publication. Maybe with the rest of this four-day weekend, I will be able to catch up on your posts.