Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 6

This Lenten traveller has been on “the road” for nearly a week. God has taken me places I didn’t want to go and yet the journey has begun to yield some wonderful fruit. I discovered a hardness of heart in myself springing from three roots which troubled my forward advance. I realize discovery is but the first step to healing these things but they are exposed now and the Holy Spirit is beginning His work upon them.

Have you ever been afraid of a road God told you to walk down? What did you do?

Yesterday in service our lead pastor preached a message concerning “spiritual health assessment”. He gave us five questions to meditate through over this next week  regarding our spiritual health.With each question he offered 6 sub-points to ponder on each day.

Today’s meditation concerns our connection with other people and with God:

On a scale of one to five ( 1 being just at the beginning of the journey and five being well-developed in the area)…

How am I at  developing authentic community within my church family?

How am I doing in the area of loving others? Giving grace to others? Forgiving others? (I guess that’s three in one but OK) Read I Corinthians 13 before answering this one.

How am I at intentionally cultivating my relationships with Christian friends? Spiritual mentors?

How am I doing with connecting with my immediate family relationships?

How am I doing at resolving conflict with others in a biblical manner?

How can I deepen my relationships with others? 

It was question number 6 that hit me square between the eyes. Just before service yesterday God revealed I had believed a lie that was keeping me out of balance in my relationships. Somewhere in my life I came to believe that I had to choose between family relationships and church relationships. If I was going to have one then I would have to neglect the other. God showed me yesterday that if I am to be healthy it must not be either… or but both… and.

Over the course of family life and ministry I have failed to establish and enforce proper boundaries. I have given other people the right to declare my boundaries  because I was afraid of rocking the boat. I was afraid of losing face. I was afraid of losing relationship. I am realizing that by allowing other people to set the boundaries for me I have given away the power to balance my relationships. I wonder what fixing this is going to entail.

Which question above most speaks to you?

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12 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 6

  1. There’s a tsunami of stuff here, Pastor J (and I’m tired today), and it all sounds pretty familiar. The boundaries thing is tough for most of us–I grew up in a family where it was totally sick and dysfunctional, so I adopted a fairly isolated lifestyle. The blog neighborhood allows for some comfortable “stretching”–who knows? Maybe someday I’ll have real relationships again.

    • Indeed Sis. I have come to know that what we have here IS real relationship with some drawbacks. Penpals are not out of relationship simply because they are separated by distance and vision. However, it is a bit easier to hide in the weblog neighborhood.

  2. Question number four is striking a chord with me. God is revealing to me that my heart has hardened in this area and it is not a place I like or want to be in. I have been quite discouraged with my family because right now it seems easier to speak to someone I just met about Jesus versus hitting a brick wall with my own family. I really need to meditate on this so I can get His perspective on how to soften my heart in this area.

  3. Thank you for sharing these questions and your own insights. I think that balance thing is a really tough one too . .. and one that I find myself out of balance within frequently. So praying with you and God bless you!

    • As Sis Caddo said I think this is a common one. I guess in my time of meditation I have begun to see how many things my problems with boundaries actually negatively impacted. As boundary makers go I consider that I am pretty good at making them and even at keeping them. What I have seen though is that my own belief in a lie caused me to create boundaries that were misplaced and unbalanced.

  4. #4. “Immediate family” isn’t so much of an issue, but relationships with siblings spread around the nation suffer. Some have Facebook, where we keep in touch, others do not. Aside from letters or brief notes in birthday cards, we rarely communicate.

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