We see the things we want to see, the things that confirm our assumptions and our preferred way of looking at the world.
Our masculine initiation was intended to be an interpretive grid and narrative arc for every moment of every day of our lives. However, the transformative experiences at the heart of the process often come in forms contrary to our preferences. Here’s the good news: God at times gives us what we want, but at all times gives us what we need.
Reckoning with our unconscious biases is a form of initiation that is often unpleasant. Yet in order to become the kind of men who can increasingly see more of how God sees, the interrogative process of engaging our own bias is essential.
Have you ever wondered why God chose to record the story of Jesus through four distinct and intentionally biased Gospel accounts? Through each writer’s highly designed story-telling of the teaching, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, what do you think is lost, and what is gained?
Turn your attention back to your own process of transformation. How are you becoming a student of your own bias?
I want to suggest that our biases were intended to be habitually explored and scrutinized, then consecrated and, over time, brought more and more into alignment with the vision of Jesus.
Here are a few questions, by way of example, to begin to engage us in this process:
- How has your social location or your family of origin affected your bias?
- How about your consumption of information? Who and what are your sources? Most importantly, why is this so?
- How does the information you choose to engage form your way of seeing?
These questions lead us to deep waters, and engaging them takes both humility and courage that few men ever choose to exercise. But the offer of freedom and joy in becoming the kind of men who can see through the eyes of Christ makes all the discomfort and effort of challenging our biases more than worth it.
Come join a fellowship of rare and remarkable men from across the globe as we dive deep into these foundational questions of becoming.
For the Kingdom,
- WATCH: Crash (2005 film)
Fill out the reflection sheet, then prayerfully enter into each character’s story and ask God for one thing from each story you can learn that will help you further crucify and consecrate your personal bias.
- READ: Four Gospel accounts of the resurrection
Observe the impact of bias and how it shapes the story in which we find ourselves. What is lost and what is gained through each Gospel writer’s unique storytelling that is not captured by the others? What might God be bringing to us through these four distinct accounts of the resurrection? If you were asked to write an account of the resurrection, drawing from the four Gospels and your own walk with God, what would you choose to include? What would you choose not to include? How would your bias have shaped those decisions?
- TAKE HONEST INVENTORY: What is your bias? Begin using these gateways for your excavation:
- family of origin
- social location
- my consumption of information – Who and what are my sources? (silo bias)
- fear and shame
- The “unforgivable sin” in which I operate in relationships is_____.
- “I tolerate this but I value this.”