We began in January. Four women met together with their pastor and asked for his support to begin a Bible Study for young adults. It grew from there into the YAG, a movement of people getting to know eachother and themselves in Christ. The study was RELATE, knowing, loving and forgiving the people in your life. It was to be a 5 session study but one session would take two meetings. The sessions were profound and pregnant with meaning, leaving thoughts on how to do this life thing better together bouncing around in us through the week. I recommend this study to everyone – not just young adults. It is an excellent first study for a group and a theme that is relevant to everyone. Throughout the weeks of the study we came to know eachother as a group. We would average 30 people at any giving meeting on a Friday night in The Cave, a warehouse loft we were generously given to use by a couple in our church. We shared very deep hurts and precious victories, updates on our practices of the things we have learned and hurdles that we would have to overcome. Out of this study came a community of people who have begun to live with eachother and share with eachother and love eachother. There were some amazing things that I learned in these sessions that have stayed with me and I pray will stay with me as I grow beyond this step. Right now, in a reflective mood and seeking comfort in the memories of all my God has done for me, I have decided to share a few of these.
- Every person has a predominant need when it comes to relationships – either significance or security.
- Relationships are NOT ABOUT ME. They are not designed to serve me. They are designed to be the place where I am able to be more like Christ. To be patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not conceited, selfless, compassionate, and forgiving we must have someone in our lives with which we are able to practice these Christ-like ways.
- Fear is a big impediment to relationships. But when we turn to the purpose of relationships (above) we can learn to love someone for THEIR sake. Not for ours.
- Relationships are the place where sanctification happens.
- God is the source of all the things we need to make our relationships work. We are invited to “remain in Him”. We are the branches on his vine and without the vine the branches will die… and will destroy the relationships in their life by being drained and withered without the love connection to the vine of the source of all love – God himself.
- “Friends who enjoy soul intimacy never settle for gossip or simple information exchange. Instead they use the data of events as spring-boards for the sharing of feelings, perceptions, values, ideas and opinions.”
- Being loving is more important that being right. Relationship is more important than victory.
- Dealing with conflict there are three ways in which we react – move away, move against, or move towards. Moving towards can be easily confused with moving against – but the purpose is different. Moving against is defensive, self-protective, and offensive. Moving toward involves an open mind and bravery, clear communication, accountability, accommodation, collaboration and compromise.
- The grass is not greener on the other side – it is greener where you water it.
- It is important to search yourself for wrongdoing with humility. There are three BEs to employ as we deal with our own weaknesses. Be aware, Be in tune with the Spirit as it guides you, and Be willing to accept the guidance and instruction of the Spirit so that work can be done in your life.
- Forgiveness IS: Moral. Goodwill. Paradoxical. Beyond duty.
- Forgiveness is NOT: Forgetting or denying. Condoning. Excusing. Condemning. Seeking justice or compensation.
As for me… I learned that I have a lot to learn. And a lot of practicing to do. That is another subject for another post. Another time.