Over the last few weeks I’ve tried to be more aware of the ‘bubbles’ I occupy, the bubbles which encourage me to think that other people share my views about all sorts of things, not just “religious matters”. Some of our bubbles form naturally from our backgrounds and upbringing, the people we socialise with; some of our bubbles are created by ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously, to protect ourselves or to avoid conflict. I can give a few examples of where I’ve been struck by contrary thinking recently:

– how people have reacted to the lifting of some of the lockdown restrictions, with the more cautious ‘not getting’ those who want to go to shops and beaches

– the BBC News being criticised for leading on the situation in the Yemen rather than the stabbing incident in Glasgow

– the online abuse church leaders in America receive when they speak out in support of refugees and migrants

– the questioning of the petition calling for the retention of the Department for International Development

Things which seem right and obvious to us are not necessarily how others see them. I’m not saying we all have to agree on everything, nor am I saying that a different view or perspective is necessarily wrong. We all have to be open to the possibility that we are wrong, and sometimes there is no right or wrong, just a different way of seeing. What I would say though is that, as Christians, we need to be aware of our world in order to speak into it and that we should look to extend to those with whom we disagree a measure of grace which isn’t necessarily extended by them, taking seriously the questions what would Jesus do, where would Jesus be, who would Jesus be alongside and what would Jesus say?

Published by Angie Allport

Methodist minister

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