Typically we have one boss, one God, and one romance. All the other people in our lives tend to fall into this grey area of "friends".... The ways we connect with others create the framework we will live our lives. As Jason Miller discussed this past week, there are some dysfunctional "slips" in our lives that can prevent us from getting real traction in our friendships:
SLIP #1: Trying to have friends without being a friend
- Our fears and insecurites of "being alone" or "not having the right/cool friends" can cause us to stockpile people around us so we don't feel alone
- Our "friends" are really commodities to us... we're using them to meet our wants or needs
- People in our lives not filling a need are easily discarded
- We end up having friends without being a friend because we're using them to feel OK
- We avoid having a "real" conversations with our friends for fear of losing them. Instead of being a true friend saying what may need to be said, we simply avoid anything that may adversely affect the relationship
- John 15: 12-13 12 This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.13 This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.
- True measure of friendship is its depth, human to human, deep to deep
SLIP #2: Trying to be a friend without having friends
- We need to be needed, our relationships are focused on helping others in need but won't ask for help from others
- We believe a lie that as long as we're needed, people will be around (friends)
- It can get to the point we fear people not being there if we were to ask for help so we don't.... leads to more loneliness
- Ecclesiastes 4:9 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
Slip #3: Trying to be a friend like Jesus without being a friend with Jesus
- "God, why do my friends stink?" ... Maybe we're trying to hold them to a standard that's unachievable, a level only Christ can attain?
- When we can let go of the unrealistic standard for our friends, we can see the various ways they do help us and are true friends to us
- When we realize the God of the universe calls us a friend, it's humbling and we realize the grace He's given us... He can fill that void in our lives
CS Lewis, Four Loves “Those who are going nowhere, can have no fellow travelers”
- One of the best ways to develop friendships is to head somewhere together… serve together… Go after a common purpose or goal...
- Our true friends can give us traction so we don't continue to "slip" our way through life
It can feel like a tightrope between "being needy" and trying not to "be needed".... how are you doing with that balance? What steps do you need to take to refresh how you're being a friend or viewing your friends?
Here is a screen shot of Rob Wegner's message on Lordship Slips in case you missed it:
See you online Sunday, November 29th at 6:30 or 8:30 EST for Friendship Slips!
Here is a great interview with Brandon Donaldson from Life Church talking about online church. We value our friends from Life Church and celebrate what they are doing as part of God's story! Granger Community is mentioned a few times in this interview from Oklahoma City... check it out!
Hey God, here's Your to-do list... let me lay it out for you.... I want to go to my dream school, so I can get my dream job, to get my dream car, meet my dream spouse, get my dream house, have my dream kids, take dream vacations, have a wealthy dream retirement.... and when it comes to it... I want the dream death so I'll live eternally happily ever after.
And right now God.... You seem to be dropping the ball on My Plan.... what's up?
If I really look at my days, my weeks, or my to-do lists.... I can drift into this warped thinking. Uh, who am I making God here? As Rob Wegner discussed this past weekend:
- THE LORDSHIP SLIP: Assuming God’s role is to help me accomplish my “dream” life
The goal is to shift from asking God to fit in my story to have my life fit in a much bigger story…. God’s story.
- God's story is called shalom, where things are the way God wants them to be
- In the midst of our rat race trying to accomplish our competing dreams, God calls out "shalom"
- Shalom is the way things ougth to be
Clearly things aren't the way they should be in our world:
- UNICEF says there are 2 million children in the sex trade
- Every 6 seconds, some child dies of malnutrition
- While God's perfect plan is a beautiful tapestry, clearly there are frayed lives everywhere
The religious treadmill: We see a broken world, we feel guilty, we help someone out to make a difference, we don't feel guilty anymore, we hope God is happy and then gives us what we want in our dreams.
We have the opportunity today to engage in the broken, dark places in our world....to bring shalom.
Have you been on the religious treadmill?
What dark place in your community or what relationship in your life can you bring shalom to this week?
What step do you need to take to realign your dreams to God's perfect plan?
Here's a video with some bonus coverage with Joanna Beasley from her weekend at Granger Community Church...
Our culture has a stong influence (even Standard Operation Procedures) on how dating and relationships are supposed to role. How's that working for you? Do you feel like you "have" to be with someone and being single is lame? Will marriage solve all your problems? This week online Rob Wegner talked about three "slips" we make in our courtship process.
- Slip #1: Being Married is Normal
- Our culture would say it's the beautiful, the entertaining, the powerful, or wealthy that win in this game. The problem is, you may not feel like you're any of those and it sure seems like you're losing the game. All around you people seem to be in relationships and eventually are getting married. You're single and that's a problem.
So what does the Bible say about that?
I Corinthans 7:7-8 Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others. I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me.
The two greatest characters in the New Testament were Jesus and Paul. Their impact has literally been felt by billions of people......and they were single.
Are you believing the lie that being single is a problem and in some way our culture is judging you? Do you feel pressure to be sexually active to keep up with cultures standards?
Slip #2: Accept the SOP in the WDS (Standard Operating Procedure in the World Dating Scene)
- Let's face it, we're bombarded with this everyone... TV, movies, advertising, our peers.... How you look is everything... your clothes, make-up to look younger, work-out, being sexy and physically desirable is what wins..
- Once you have a date, now you need to be spontaneous, adventurous, witty, romantic, and easy....all while looking confident
- Typically people get bored in steps 1 and 2 with people and move on. In Step 3, that often ends up in "he's an idiot" or "she's psycho". If you make it to step 4, over 1/2 the time ends up in divorce or a lifeless marriage.
In your gut, how's that working for you? What carnage has been left behind in your wake? Or, are you the carnage in someone else's wake? Are you winning or does it seem like someone (or everyone) else seems to have it figured out a lot more than you?
Are you believing the lie that someone actually wins in this game long term?
Maybe it's time for a new plan....
- The first question should be, "Does this person have the potential to be my best friend the rest of my life?" as opposed to, "Is he/she a hotty or a notty?"
- God created us with sexual attraction and drive, He's all about it... just within His plan though...
- Once we can understand our true value in the eyes of God, the world's standard operating procedures are exposed for how lame and unachievable they are...
We've all screwed up in this area... remember, God is all about hitting the refresh button...
What plan will I choose? Which plan do the people around me push me towards?
Slip #3: Marriage will be my ultimate fulfillment
- Marriage isn't the cure for loneliness, happiness, finding your purpose, or all your needs. Jesus is.
- We can be like leeches in marriage....sucking what we've been missing in our lives out of our spouse, and when they're dried up.... we're miserable, we move on, and/or we divorce
- Courtship doesn't stop once you get married
- Focus on becoming the right kind of person which will help you find and attract the right type of person...
- Many couples that have been married successfully for many years will tell you, "there were times we questioned if we married the right person".... they made a decision/commitment to be the right person and keep working at it
- If we asked ourself, what does humanity look like at its very best? Jesus is our hope to become the right person.
Am I focused on my spouse changing rather than where I need to take steps? Do I need to get outside help in our marriage to re-ignite the passion? What is the next right thing I need to do in my marriage?
Other great quotes:
- "I try to wow them with my awkwardness"- that was Rob's "game" in the dating days
- "God still loves you the same no matter where you're at....even if you've been giving Him the finger your whole life."
Additional reading (try youversion.com Online Bible):
1 John 4, 1 Corinthians 13
So....you got any conflict in your workplace? As Jeff Bell delivered this weekend, it seems that 60% of people dread their jobs... the primary reason? The people they work with. Yikes.
Jeff gave us 5 points to consider as so much of our relational conflict is rooted in trust:
# 1 LACK OF CLARITY
- How do we measure success/failure should be clear
- Roles & Responsibilities need to be well defined
- Conversations can change on a dime from professional to personal, when this happens confusion can set-in
- What am I being asked to do and how do I do it?
Action: We need to bring clarity to our workplaces and relationships. How can you bring clarity to your leadership or workplace?
#2 FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE REALITIES
- Budget may have limitations (especially early on)
- 75% of population is drastically different than you studies have shown
- They think you’re as weird as you think they are!
- How they handle conflict can be completely different
- We’re all broken people (James 4:1)
Book: Dark Side of Leadership 5 Types of Dark Side:
- Compulsiveness- needs to call the shots
- Narcissistic - world evolves around them
- Codependency- struggles to stand up on their own- need approval of others
- Paranoia- Always feeling like someone is out to get us
- Passive-Aggressive- Manipulative
Action: How can we recognize these tendencies in our own lives? Who in our life is able to watch for these and help us when we get out of bounds?
#3 CAN’T GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE
- Clarity can actually come from the conflict
- Critical point- acknowledge the failure (conflict) which can restore and build relationship (with clarity and more understanding)… OR spirals out of control
Action: Many people avoid conflict. What are the "unsaid" things in your relationships that need to come to the surface?
#4 ELEVATING THE DREAM ABOVE THE TEAM
- We can slip into sacrificing the team for the dream which can sometimes sacrifice the dream
- People are more important than products or services we offer
Action: Are we on autopilot so focused on creating profit for our company or getting what we want in our relationships? How can we value people more in our workplace?
#5 COMPETITION BECAME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE COMMON CAUSE
- We forget that we’re on the same team... we get caught up in our own performance or stats and don't care if we actually won or lost the game
- The higher that climbers go on Mt Everest, the higher they have to rely on team
- We’ve GOT to find ways to work together
Action: Who are the people I have the hardest time working with? How can I be a better team member to them? What step can I take to reach out to them?
Great quote: "God can take the death of a dream and turn it into a multiplication of a dream."
I don't know about you, but I've had dreams that have been lost. In the workplace, in relationships.... my hope is that God will take those losses and multiply them in our lives. You believe that?
Verses from the Bible this week (The Message paraphrase):
Ephesians 4: 2-3 And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences
Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Here are some screen shots from this past weekend's message from Week 4 Distant series in case you missed them!