Thursday, August 27, 2009

With 2

I am quite behind in posting my notes from our second week of the With series. And I'll be even farther behind with week three because I wasn't here to hear it and have yet to make it to the website. I am so slack these days. Anyway, here's a very belated recap of the message two weeks ago.

I'm With Stupid

Joseph - coat of many colors, dreams of superiority (Genesis 37-45): didn't exactly do the smartest thing by showing off his favoritism and sharing his crazy dreams.

Sometimes we think that if we are with the right people, then everything will be okay.

We think relational happiness comes from finding people who are easy to get along with.

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray." (Isaiah 53:6) -> We all make mistakes and hurt others by our words and actions. The big thing is to admit our failures and take responsibility for our part.

In Joseph's story, no one ever tries to work out their issues with one another. The brothers don't ask Joseph to stop wearing the coat or sharing his dreams. Instead they sell him into slavery.

Our tendency is to avoid issues/conflict/confrontation with others.
>Avoidance kills community (no one grows or changes)
>When things go unaddressed and undealt with, relationships suffer
>"Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Ephesians 4:26)

Is there anything you need to talk about with someone that has not been addressed?

People who love authentic community prefer the temporary chaos of conflict to the peace of permanent superficiality.

We need truth tellers to remind us of our values, let us know where we get off track, and to encourage us to do the right thing.

Genesis 39:2, 20-23 "The Lord was WITH Joseph...
>Just because he had difficult times doesn't mean God wasn't with him.

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

Genesis 50:20 -> "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

Some of the best things in life come from the most unlikely of places.

Romans 8:31,34,35,37 What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?...Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger of sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

This was such an encouraging message that helped me to remember that no matter what is going on in my life, God is still with me guiding me through. I also really liked the comment about authentic community. I am not good at small talk and surface relationships. I want honesty and depth and real life. While these types of relationships are sometimes hard and messy, I desire them more than the easy breezy no-commitment ones because there is a richness to it that you don't get staying at the surface. I like to feel connected to people. To have people who know all about me - the good and the bad - and still choose to be in relationship with me.

So what would be my personal application? I guess to continue to put myself out there in order to build authentic community. To be honest with my issues as well as to be bold enough to confront others when necessary. I do struggle with conflict. I'd much prefer to let things smooth over, but that doesn't make anything better. I am growing slowly but surely in this area. I think marriage helps. Well, what really helps is to have a relationship that you are invested in and desire for it to be the best and healthiest it can be which means sometimes doing the hard thing of dealing with issues. I guess that's why marriage comes to mind, because it is one of those relationships for me.

What about you? Do you have any relationships that you are invested in enough to deal with conflict?

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