Thursday, February 18, 2016


My stomach is all tied up in knots because I just overheard an extended conversation that essentially was focused on shaming people. I don't want to shame them in the process of explaining shame, though.

Brene Brown came up with an acronym for healthy relationships--BRAVING.


I love all of them and what they stand for, however for the purpose of this, I want to focus on "generous". Brown defined being generous as being generous in your assumptions in what people say and do;
"Extend the most generous interpretations possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others."

Essentially, be kind in how you read and interpret things. I started to list a bunch of examples, but honestly...I'm too fearful that people won't be generous in their interpretations of reading them.

I love questions and also, statements. I rarely think someone is "stupid" or wonder "what is wrong with them?" or "how dare they?" because I strive to be generous of other people's intentions. Because of that, I'm much more available to engage in real conversations and we can learn and grow and strive to be better and expand our worldview. And because of that, I don't get as angry at a post on facebook or a question someone asked. Instead, I extend generosity via their intention.

I have a lot of favorite verses, but one that seems fitting for this is in 1 Corinthians 8. Hear me out, before skipping this part. It was written by Paul and it's in regard to food sacrifice. I love this chapter because Paul essentially says:

In Christianity, you can eat whatever food you want, but some people think you can only eat certain foods. And if so, that's fine. Don't rub it in their face, make fun of them, or tell them they're dumb; just eat the food they are okay with. Don't use your knowledge [of being able to eat anything] to spite or shame others. 

And 1 Corinthians 8:13: Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Paul says, relationships come first. Before rules, regulations, before anything else, relationships. People are God's heart. And Christians, in particular, should consistently uphold that priority and be generous in their interpretations of others.

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