Trying to understand the “intent” of the people and institutions you are in relationship with is critical. Intent gives you a sense of their mission, values, and priorities. It can reveal some of the motives or drivers of those involved. Additionally intent is a critical part of the roadmap for their future. Confusion is often the best explanation of what happens when we do not have this knowledge. It is as if we draw conclusions on what others are doing based on our motives, values, and priorities. If we share the same, great! Otherwise the best that can result is confusion and an ignorant response. Mistakes in history, current and past, often pivot on this knowledge, or lack thereof. A question sits, unasked and unanswered, do we want to know?
Recently I was accused through the web of some rather vicious acts. Part of me really wanted to respond by laying out the facts, clarifying the events, and articulating what things stand in the present. I didn’t respond because I knew I didn’t understand the person behind the accusations. Were they hurting? Had they be slighted? Did they genuinely want to know what was involved? These questions and more were open, begging to be asked and answered. They still are. I don’t know their intent and clearly they didn’t know mine.
Having others accuse or draw conclusions isn’t new. Centuries ago Jesus was under the watchful eye and eventually accusation of his day’s leadership. One can see now how one side didn’t understand what Jesus stood for, his intent and purpose in life, and how all this played out in his actions. Confusion was the result of Jesus’ words. “For as long as I [Jesus] am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light.” (John 9.5) They didn’t know, understand, or accept because they could not comprehend his intent.
I wonder if those around me understand my values and priorities. Am I clear? Is it obvious? Are my actions consistent? This is part of the opportunity you and I have, today.
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