LCBC is doing a series called "Recovery Road." The description: A new year means a fresh start. But why am I already falling behind with strained relationships, financial uncertainties and spiritual struggles? This January, join LCBC as we face these challenges and together step out onto Recovery Road.
Some of my notes from Week 2
*When we experience pains, burdens, struggles; we have a tendancy to hide it all. We need to let it "air out in the open" like a bandaid on a wound.
*We will not find healing; we will not find recovery/wholeness until we stop hiding.
Context for this lesson: Galatians 6: 1-3
1) Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
2) Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
3) If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
*Church is a group of people wholly and deeply committed to each other
*We are spiritual together; something formed in a community, not in isolation
*If you are interested in improving your spiritual life, prayer life, etc., don't go get another book, don't go listen to another sermon... get involved in the lives of people.
Person 1: The helper (the person who is "ok" and is doing pretty good in life right now)
*BOLD: we should be bold in our relationships with others
--If someone is caught in sin (slipping), you should restore him gently and humbly
ex) It seems like you're struggling, what can I do to help?
--It's not out of pity; but in humility because you've struggled with it too
--Not to point something wrong out just because; but because you want them to get fullness out of life.
*INVOLVED: Share each other's burdens... an active, ongoing task.
--Requires us to become involved; an actual level of involvement that might cost us something (time, money, energy, resources, etc); to sacrifice something.
--If you go so far as to point out faults but are not willing to help, then don't say anything at all.
--Getting involved will be messy. It will mess up your schedule. It always seems to come at the wrong times, or most inopportune times.
--We hide behind... "Well it's none of my business..." or "I'm too busy to help out..." or "Who am I to judge and get involved?"
*if you think that (above), you are thinking of yourself and not of them. You are being selfish and you need to know that you are not better than them.
Person 2: The person who needs help (the person who is struggling and needs help)
*OPEN: Need to have an openness to let peole ask about my life.
--There is a level of relational openness that comes
--Wise people = open to correction... Foolish people = closed off
*VULNERABLE: to be open; exposed.
--Only way to have people share our burdens (Galatians 6:2) is to share our burdens.
--Willingness to put ourselves out there: This is who I am. This is what I'm struggling with. This is where I've slipped. This is what's frustrating me...
--Being vulnerable is a very scary proposition for many people. There are 2 forces behind it:
1) There is an external force at work: Cultural force = society celebrates self-reliance/independence. This person says "I can handle it. I don't need help from anyone." And we are viewed as weak if we ask for help.
2) There is an internal force at work: Pride = I can handle it. I got this on my own. I'm good.
--Do I really think I'm better than others that I don't need help? (Galatians 6:3)
There is a myth out there that says our struggles, slips, burdens are faults and not to be seen by anyone else. Thus, we have become skilled at putting on a vaneer, a false front to the world. If we continue living by this myth, there is a path to recovery that we'll never understand.
There is real worth and power in being real. Being vulnerable. And being open with one another.
If you are person #1 (BOLD/INVOLVED)...
--Have you been hiding?
--Is there someone you know who is struggling, but you've refused to get involved?
--STOP HIDING! You'll start the healing for them!
If yo are person #2 (OPEN/VULNERABLE)...
--Have you isolated yourself?
--Have you closed yourself off and refused to be vulnerable?
--Have you been wearing a vaneer (mask), robbing someone the opportunity to help carry our burden?
--STOP HIDING! You'll start your healing!
Wow. This one was a tough one to swallow. I've made many excuses for not getting into friends' faces for something they've done that violates God's teachings. I've thought myself as "better" than others; therefore, thinking I don't need anyone's help. I've put on a vaneer... a mask... so others think I'm ok on the outside, even though I'm struggling on the inside.
But one thing I do know, that I need to be involved in a church and a small group/Bible Study. I have to be around people who are going to hold me accountable. Who I can learn off of. Who I can talk to about my burdens. Who will let me help them carry their burdens.
Who will allow me to be bold. Get involved. Be open. Be vulnerable.
But I also know I have to be bold, involved, open and vulnerable with myself too.
No more vaneer. No more mask.
I need to STOP HIDING!
Jesus, help me to be BOLD!
Jesus, help me to be INVOVLED!
Jesus, help me to be OPEN!
Jesus, help me to be VULNERABLE!