I am just typing out my thoughts here, as I continue to process what I have read in chapter 5.
Our study guide (through church, compiled by Erin Duren) poses this question: Have you ever felt that you weren't a good enough communicator or didn't have what it took to tell people about Jesus?
Absolutely. I have gotten anxious about, avoided it, clearly disobeyed the Lord when He was urging me to tell someone about Him.
However, when I have prayed that He would provide the opportunity, and then He would put the words in my mouth, He has. Without a doubt, He has. So, why don't I pray for that more? He tells me He will supply my needs, and I've seen Him do it, specifically in these situations. Why don't I do it? trust Him & just do it? pride? fear of rejection? fear of not knowing what to say? fear of looking foolish? all of the above?
Another question posed by Erin: Have you ever heard the expression "actions speak louder than words?" What do you think of when you hear that expression?
I think of what someone does, rather then what they say. I think of what I say, rather than do. I am the Queen of Good Intentions. I say a lot. What do I do?
David Platt talks about receivers vs reproducers. Receivers hear the Word, sitting back & taking it in, sometimes even with the attitude, "What can I get out of this? How will this benefit me?" Reproducers hear the Word with the attitude of, "How can I listen to His word so that I am equipped to teach His word to others?"
I have found myself in both of these roles. More often than not, I would fall into the Receiver camp. The last time I distinctly remember being in the Reproducer camp, was several months back (a year? not sure about the time), when I found my life completely changed by applying this principle: It is not God's creation's (Jay, Katie, Mary Margaret, my folks, sister, friends, etc) -- It is not God's creation's role to fulfill me. It is His role. When I look to His creation for fulfillment, I will be disappointed, again & again & again. When people around me do not meet my expectations, I get mad. When those people around me do not behave in a way that makes me happy, I then get upset, angry, pout, etc. However, if I choose to live in a way in which I look to Jesus to fulfill me, I not only have a freedom in my relationship with Him, I have a freedom in my relationship with those people around me, too! The pressure is off.
All that is to say, I found myself in the role of Reproducer after hearing this principle (many times) and then applying it to my life. My life is changed. My perspective is so different now. And I want to tell everyone in my life about this. I want to see others experience a new freedom in life, as I have.
from Marla - Do you find yourself (and your kiddos) isolated from the world in a spiritual safe-deposit box? How can we break open that box?
Katie (almost 13) and I were talking about this last week. She pointed out to me that she lives in such a “safe” environment, when is she going to get to “practice” showing Christ to those who do not know Him. And really, the same goes for me (for the most part) with that same “safe” environment. We (Jay, Katie, Mary Margaret & I) did small group last winter/spring, “practicing” serving others in our church. This winter/spring we are going to do small group with the specific intention of serving others out in our community. Katie is ready to get her hands dirty, and we will be right there with her.
Last thought for now... pg. 103, last paragraph, "Jesus beckons each of us to plainly, humbly, and quietly focus our lives on people." Pastor Mark challenged us Sunday to love people, and use things. Another conversation I had with Dario, the pastor in Honduras, was when I asked him about translating for me. That whole week, I would ask him how to say this or that. This was the day before we were heading home, and we were eating some chocolate that was so delicious. I asked Dario how to say, "I love chocolate!" He just looked at me, kind of puzzled, and said, "Here in Honduras, we say we love people, not things. I do not know how to say that."
That stuck. How may times do I flippantly say, "I love this movie! or I love this book! or I love this chocolate!" How many times do I say, "I love this person, or that person!" But what am I doing to show that I really do love the person?
"Jesus beckons each of us to plainly, humbly, and quietly focus our lives on people"...and there are plenty around me that I can focus on. The question I ask myself tonight is, will I choose to focus on others, rather than myself?
I'd love to know your thoughts.