Not in a Vacuum
On Sunday evening, we talked about the idea that everyone interprets the Bible. No one is able to just read it. We all place our own biases on it when we read; it's impossible not to do that. Knowing we do that is important, however. If we are aware that our reading of the Bible is done through our selves - our biases and beliefs, our experiences and opinions - then we can watch for them.
Knowing that makes us more willing to listen to other people's thoughts concerning the scripture. How are they different from our own? Could that difference somehow be related to our biases? What does the difference say to us? To them?
In the same way, we interpret the world around us through our own biases. Haven't you ever seen or heard a comment someone has made, and been certain you know what that person is talking about, only to find out that you were completely wrong? Haven't you seen someone else do this? I have. We need to be aware that our conclusions are not always - if ever - based in just fact. Our thoughts and feelings are never formed in a vacuum.