How to use this blog

For full effect, it is important to start with the earliest entries and work your way through the exercises to the most recent.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Example 1 Revisited

Answers to Questions:
(a) Can you think of a reason why you should have taken the money?  Is that reason valid?  How does that make you feel?

The reason to take the money was to allow the mom to participate in her own redemption and reduce her feelings of obligation.  The reason is partially valid but not taking her money is not being selfish if you have considered this.  You are not showing off or putting her under any future obligation.

(b) Was it right to ask the woman to pray for you?  What were you thinking in making such a request?  How does that make you feel?

Yes it was right.  It was the most decent thing you could do under the circumstances.  You need prayers and we should pray for each other.  When you made this request you were thinking about your own sinfulness and that she may, in her poverty, be closer to God.  It is not selfish to ask someone to pray for you.  You should feel a sense of sadness which softens your heart.

(c) Did you consider your own child in this situation seeing as how they were waiting for you and relying on you to be a dependable parent.  What do you say to your child when you are twenty minutes late picking them up?  Will this affect your child's opinion of you in a positive or negative way.  How does that make you feel?

Yes you did.  But they were in a safe place and, because you are in a general a considerate person, you were going to be early to pick them up now you will be late.  When you explained the situation to your child you hope that they understand.  You feel bad for causing your child to worry and become distressed.  Your child will see your feelings will have positive feelings toward you if you have a good relationship and feel negative feelings if they are selfish.  But you should be an example to your child so that they know that the christian family includes other people too.

(d) Why did you stop for the mom with the kids in the car?  Would you have done the same for someone else?  Consider this question in depth and search for your own prejudices.  How does that make you feel?

Because she needed help.  There are some people you would not have stopped for; in fact it is least likely you would have stopped for your own self.  But this is not the first time you have stopped to help someone.  Prejudice enters into this as it must.  You have to make a judgment before you have all the information.  But the prejudice concerned the evaluation of the "state-of-life" issues (e.g. this person needs my help because she may not have the means to help herself).  This does not change the way you feel.

(e) The ethnicity of the mom and children was not mentioned.  What do you think it was?  Why do you think that?  Considering your answer, how does that make you feel?

What you assume in an instant is based on your own life experiences and is subconscious.  You can attempt to train yourself to think of people only in the abstract but that is not natural.  But it only really matters if you would not have stopped because of her race regardless of that race.  (i.e. it would have been wrong to not stop simply because she was black, and it would have been wrong to not stop simply because she was white).  Sexism (e.g. you only stopped because she was a woman) is not at play here.

(f) Based on this experience and your answer to question (d) next time you see a stranded motorist, under what circumstances would you stop?  If you decide to stop, how do you feel?  If you decide not to stop, how do you feel?

Depending on the circumstances I will make my best judgment but I can not guarantee that I will stop since my decision does not simply effect me but my family as well.

(g) How many times in the past have you stopped and how many times in the past have you not stopped for a stranded motorist?  How do you feel right now?

I have stopped at least three times for stranded motorists and probably passed several dozen stranded motorists.  I feel somewhat neutral

(h) Now read the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  Does this passage offer any clue to how the Samaritan felt while he administered aid to a Jew?  If you were a Jew listening to this story, knowing what you know about the antipathy between Jews and Samaritans how would you feel?

Yes.  The key word in the story is that the good Samaritan was moved with compassion.  That is to say his motivation was concern for the man and that compassion drove him to heroic action.

If I had been a Jewish listener I may have been disgusted with Jesus and thought he was showing a reverse prejudice.  Later I may have considered this a challenge.  Likely the story would not have been one to make me feel closer to Jesus.

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