Flip – Flop

Well the charge was made again. One politician accused another of “flip-flopping”.  It seems the accused politician changed his mind and adopted a different position on an issue than he had previously espoused. That evidently is tantamount to being a traitor to the cause. This charge has been made over and over in the last few elections cycles. And evidently many in the electorate think that changing one’s mind is a bad thing.

The Gospel does not seem to agree. Especially the reading for last Sunday from the gospel of Matthew. In this passage Jesus is accosted by a Canaanite woman who asked healing for her daughter. Jesus at first refuses her request. But she persists and as a result of their conversation Jesus changes his mind. Jesus learns from her and ends up agreeing to her request.

The Gospel, it seems to me, supports open relationships where people listen to one another and allow themselves to be affected and changed by the concerns and views of another

It is clear from this passage that Jesus changed his mind. He “flip-flopped” in the modern political parlance. To be open to another and to change one’s mind does not mean one is blown about by every whim and concern. It is not being wishy-washy. But it does mean that people and relationships are more important than strict doctrine and a defined ideology.

Jesus flip-flop was an indication that he grew in his beliefs and understandings and the radical hospitality of the God was expressed even wider than just the “lost sheep of Israel” to include us all.

If we are to be followers of Jesus it is incumbent on us to be willing to listen., to learn and when appropriate to change our mind, our viewpoint and our ideology so that we will see more as God sees and act as God would have us act.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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