A Hermeneutic of Self-criticism and Grace for Others (Mini-Blog #16)

f43ac440b492240043fed7edcef9c3d4The political season, especially this one with all its horribleness, distracts me from my values because I’m just a man filled with fault and weakness. I’m a man with his heart on his sleeve, and that heart is full of many things, especially passion and zealously!

Dr. Richard Mouw says:

A lot of people today who have strong convictions are not very civil and a lot of people who are civil don’t have very strong convictions. What we really need is convicted civility…

Too often in life we proceed with a hermeneutic of self-assuredness and criticism of those for whom we disagree rather than a hermeneutic of self-criticism and grace for others.”

I am 100% without a doubt committed, with all my being, to that statement. I, with all my being, believe in convicted civility and a hermeneutic of self-criticism and a grace for others!

A few nights ago was an example of my falling short of this ideal and my values when I posted a status on my Facebook, that I deleted the next morning, that led me to failing to speak well of those with whom I disagree and speaking ill towards politicians with whom I disagree and for whom I won’t vote. I was being self-assuring and critical of others rather than having a hermeneutic of self-criticism and grace for others. I fail to do a lot, but I strive to do it always.

I believe in a boundary that, as Dr. Brene Brown says, allows me to believe the best about everyone and that they are doing the best they can with what they have.

Our country’s politics and national discourse has sunk to an all-time-low with the current politcians who could become our leaders. We are bitterly divided and at odds with one another over fear, anger, politics, opinions, beliefs, and values.

With that being said, I’m striving to be more self-critical and gracious towards others instead of self-assured with criticism towards others.

May we find unity in our common beliefs, respect for our disagreements, and love for one another as citizens. Forgive me for falling short of my ideals and values in the heat of the moment, which can be filled with anger, ranting, hurt, blindness, vitriol, partisanship, and lack of grace and understanding.

May God have mercy on us all and on our country during this heated, bitter, divisive, and polarizing political session.


Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” -BCP ’79

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