From time-to-time, I get some interesting feedback from what I write. It goes with the territory. The vast majority of the comments I receive are very affirming and kind. There are times a comment will come through not birthed out of a relationship, but from what I call a spirit of correction. Some folks live in environments where spirituality is measured by how corrective a person can be with what is perceived by them to be an error or at least, a view not in agreement with their opinion on a given subject.
We all live in certain orbits of faith. We circumnavigate matters of faith with people of like opinion not realizing another orbit is possible around the same truth. Those who launch spacecraft into orbit around the Earth launch satellites into three orbits – low, medium and high orbit. Each orbit has a value based on the mission. To think only one orbit will serve all missions is not realistic. The same is true with matters of faith. We don’t all see the same truth from the same spiritual altitude.
One challenge each of us will face is thinking we understand everything about what we so confidently proclaim. It can be our opinion on the function of a particular spiritual gift or how a local congregation should be structured or the mission of the Church in culture and so on. We might consider ourselves experts on a single orbit and think the rest of the Church needs to come in line with our orbit. If we discover a differing orbit we assume it needs our correction.
Before you harden your stance on any subject and pull out your red corrective pen to mark up another person’s life or their opinion, stop and think for a moment. Could it be that from your orbit you only see a small part of a much larger picture? Here's a thought - maybe we actually need some of what we are too quick to correct.
Before we correct another person's opinion, we should take time to explore their orbit. In the end, we might actually come to appreciate the view from a different altitude.