Look for new opportunities with the Mind Opener friend

Our cultural context, social context and technological advancements are so rapid that it is hard to keep up. I struggle to believe the first smartphone was only 11 years ago. Today we are so entrenched in our anywhere, anytime, online lifestyle! Change is here to stay for the foreseeable future so how do we adapt?

We need to be open to new ideas and discerning enough to know what we need to hold onto with both hands. While all the time looking for the character and activity of God in what we see around us.

Our next friend type is the “Mind-Opener” who challenges what you think, which is not always a bad thing. They ask good questions and this makes you more receptive to ideas. There is safety for you in this person, allowing you to think out loud. Allowing you to be unguarded, to express your opinions, your theories and even some ideas that you may think are a little controversial. You can say things that you may not be comfortable sharing with others. Faith and thoughts are an ever expanding set as we wrestle with our culture and the huge growth in accessible information. Even if we wish to be countercultural we still need to be informed and engaged.

So how do I locate this person? It maybe you put a toe in the water and share some of your ideas with your friends and see who regularly offers you new perspectives. Then slowly open the door to your mind. Encourage them play devil’s advocate. Never shoot down their responses. Allow them and you to fully explore with respect. By doing this you can be the opener of others’ minds as well as your own. It will broaden your horizons and theirs.

Above all learn to listen well. As the saying goes that is why the good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth. You may be intrigued to see who joins your friendship group.

Paul Monahan