Monday, September 23, 2013

How Are You Doing?

Each day we casually walk by people and ask a common question, "How are you doing?" Many times we aren't really looking for an answer--at least not an in-depth one that will cause us to break our
stride as we move past them. I'm not so sure that people want an honest answer when we ask anyway. It's a question designed to be a polite gesture and offers a hint of personal interest and intimacy even if it is truly only surface level. 

The problem is that the most common answer to this most common question is simply, "I'm fine." When the social dance between two people is paced around superficiality this exchange sets an easy rhythm. Unfortunately this surface level exchange becomes the norm for all our relationships instead of the exception. 

I'm not suggesting we pull up a counseling couch every time you walk by someone, but it might be a benefit to each of us to probe a little deeper. Instead of simply accepting the stock answer and walking away we should sacrifice a moment to pause and make sure their answer is true. I've found that some of my best ministry and conversations happen when I hesitate before walking away and check to make sure their response indicates their true status. It only takes a moment of willing vulnerability on both sides to create an opportunity for genuine human interaction that surpasses the casual flippancy we've become so accustomed to. are you doing?

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