Ministry Tip: Stop Being Yourself

I don’t always recommend this – but stop being yourself!  Let me unpack that.  Stop being yourself, when you want to understand someone else.  Most of us grew up hearing the expression, “walk a mile in their shoes.”  In ministry and life, we often need to see something from someone else’s perspective.  That is actually a pretty solid adage.   But it still has one obstacle in understanding someone else – us.  We are still imagining and envisioning the world from their perspective but with our history.   I heard Reggie Joiner say it this way at Orange Conference in 2016,  “Empathy is the ability to press pause on your own thoughts and feelings long enough to understand someone else’s.”  To imagine what they are feeling, we have to be able to stop being ourselves.  To press pause on ourselves and consider the issue as the other person.  Can you stop being yourself long enough to be someone else?  It is important if you want to understand those around you.