Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Options!

“We know we are less than human when we are alone.”

There are two extremes on the pendulum of relationship; isolation and immersion. The Isolationist says, “I want to be safe” and the immersionist says, “I need you in order to live (17).”
It is interesting how my views fall in the pendulum. For example, I definitely fear vulnerability with people. I cleave at times to self preservation instead of reaching out to the individual. Then, at other times, I think my life is pitiful because my dear friends from the past are not here and I overlook the dear friendships that are being built here.

They go on to explain relationship interactions between two types of people.

-the frustrated relationship; one isolationist, who feels smothered, and one immersionist, who feels rejected.

-the emeshed relationship, two immersionist;so dependent on each other, that they can be easily hurt when the other does not meet their needs

-the isolated relationship; two isolationist;complicated because their desires for safety and independence collides with the longing for relationship.

“While relationships are not inherently dangerous, the expectations we bring to them can be (19).” In the words of Miah (from Princess Diaries) “Shut up”! I am disappointed in relationships normally because the other person does not met the expectations I have imposed upon them. How silly, and yet I see this continually surfacing in my relationships. *hint prayer request

8 implications to enrich your community (relationships)

1. God is the only properly functioning community in the universe (21).
2. The Trinity is the only adequate model for human community (22)
3. People made in God's likeness were made for community (22).
4. God has a 2-fold purpose for human community: personal growth and witness to the world (23).
5. Sin's self-centeredness cuts us off from God and others(23).
6. True human community only arise out of communion with God (23).
7. Christ's resolve confirms the commitment made by the Father, Son, and Spirit before the creation of the world (24).
8. God will dwell in community with his people so that they can know community with one another

In conclusion, I don't want to give everything away in the chapter because there is rich truth found in the content of the above point.

“Only when human beings live in community do we fully reflect the likeness of God (26).”
not that this is the formula for perfection but the Holy Spirit sanctifies us through relationships.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Relationships:A Mess Worth Making

The young adult ministry at my church two weeks ago began a series on relationships. The book is Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. My impression of relationships is that they come with the territory. Some people you click with immediately, some you come to know over time, and some you might never befriend. This mentality in my thought process is wrong, especially when it comes to the body of Christ.

In the second chapter a statement is made first as a quotation of C.S. Lewis and continued throughout the chapter. “When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased (8).” To an evangelical at first glance seems like a no brainer. Of course we are to put God first; that is what we are taught from womb to present. The kicker is do we do it, or do we value created things, such as people, above God?

There are eight foundations to build a relationship discussed in the chapter.
1. You were made for relationships
2. In some way, all relationships are difficult
3. Each of us is tempted to make relationships the end rather than the means
4. There are no secrets that guarantee problem-free relationships
5. At some point you will wonder whether relationships are worth it
6. God keeps us in messy relationships for his redemptive purposes
7. The fact that our relationships work as well as they do is a sure sign of grace
8. Scripture offers a clear hope for our relationships

just a few quotes that stood out to me as I was reading.

First, under the indicators that reveal our tendency to reverse the order of things and put 2nd things 1st(8) “Controlling relationships out of desire for security” If you know me, you know this is a constant minute by minute struggle of mine. *hint, pray for me*

The second quote, “A good relationship involves honestly identifying the sin patterns that tend to trouble it. It involves being humble and willing to guard yourself and the other person from these sin patterns (11).” How true! Some of the best relationships I have had are with people who come to me and correct me in an area of sin. Not during an argument but in a peaceful gentle way. Humility goes a long way!

“The most dangerous aspect of your relationships is not your weakness, but your delusions of strength (12).” No Comment Needed!

I know this post has turned into a book. I hope to continue to post about the book as we progress through it.

Lane, Tim and Paul Tripp. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. New Growth Press. Glenside, PA. 2006