Greetings to everyone and happy January to all,
My friends, finding the common ground these days in almost every relationship we have is probably more important than ever.
Unfortunately, common sense seems to be more and more scarce in our climate of “selfies” and self-centeredness. Yet common ground can usually be found between people, no matter the differences, if we truly look for similar values, beliefs, and other connecting points.
Take a look with me at Philemon 2:3&4. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
As well as 1 Corinthians 10:24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
This helps us see how we can find healthy ways to connect and understand our peers, family members, friends and others. We must value them more than ourselves, and put their interests above our own.
This ability to do so, allows us to have more constructive conversations when we are interested in others, their life, and what is important to them.
When I worked with troubled teens for about 17 years, it always helped me (to varying degrees) to create moments and seize opportunities to ask questions about what is important to them, and then listen.
At any age, people appreciate being heard. I am thankful that God listens to us and loves each of us unconditionally. We can decide to offer this kind of listening (a type of love) to others. When we do so, we can learn so much about them and what they value in this life journey.
As the common ground is eventually revealed, usually mutual trust is earned and grows. This trust can be helpful in allowing each other to speak life into one another. Who do you have who speaks life into you? Let’s thank God for them. Who are you speaking life into? I thank God for you!
I had an older teen in my assigned group while working in Juvenile Detention, and after months of these constructive conversations, he was about to be released. Before he did so, he asked me for advice on getting along with one of his parents. I asked about an example when they struggle to get along. He shared it was when his parent asked him to do something he didn’t want to do; and an argument would follow. I gave him one idea with the condition that he would try it for 2 weeks. I also shared that I believed in his ability to do this.
A month or so later, his Probation Officer came to me and shared that he was doing well and getting along with his parent that he lived with. His PO said that the teen told him that he was taking my suggestion to heart; and he was curious what I had said to him. I said that when he asked for my advice, I said that when his parent asked him to do something, that he should make it a standard answer to say “yes mom” or “yes dad” and then do it. A simple approach while he lived in that home, and beyond; compromise. A healthy compromise means we give up a little bit of what we think we want, to help someone else understand they matter and their plans are also important to us. I hope he is still doing well to this day.
That moment where he was willing to receive advice came from months of connecting, listening, and earning trust. Are we willing to offer something similar to each other in our office, families, church, and wherever God places us? What do you believe would happen if we did? Let’s prayerfully find out.
The other part of this human equation is choosing to see and believe the best in others. I am encouraging us all to decide now to choose to see the best in each other. Your Spokane County Sheriff Chaplains and all of your Sheriff Chaplaincy Team will choose to do so; and we ask that you would please join us in believing the best about one another.
I close today with 1 Peter 5:5b All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Lets all humbly take a risk and initiate these “other centered” conversations. Just start with one question, and begin to find people’s foundational beliefs and values. The common ground we already have may amaze us, and I am claiming God’s promise that He will show favor to the humble as we step out in Faith together.
I Believe the Best in you!
Blessings from Above,
Chaplain Robert Kinnune
Lead Chaplain / Work Cell (509) 491-2467