Do you love? Do you know how to love?
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"Loving well is the goal of the Christian life."
Do you agree with this statement? Do you believe that life is more about who you are, and not what you do? Do you believe that it is more important to be with God versus doing things for God? This is one of the most common dilemmas in the Christian life: doing for God versus being with God. Remember the question from Rob's sermon a couple weeks ago: how do you measure your love for God? In how we love one another. Again, our love is not measured by all the countless things we do for Him, but instead in how we treat, love, respect, and honor one another.
Scazzero writes, "One of the greatest things we can give our world is to be a community of emotionally healthy adults who love well."
While reading this chapter, we were immediately reminded of Rob's sermon on 1 Corinthians 13: love is power–it changes things. A people filled with God's love, who in turn love others, has the power to change so much.
Again, we ask, do you know how to love?
Scazzero writes that people can't simply be told to love better, but they instead need practical skills integrated into their spiritual formation to help equip them into becoming mature, emotionally healthy adults. We have come up with 4 simple steps to help you unpack everything in this chapter and begin applying to your daily life.
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1. Rate Your Emotional Health
Read pgs. 178 & 179.
–Which stage are you in?
–Which do you honestly identify with the most?
2. Evaluate Your Relationships
Look at and evaluate the relationships in your life. Scazzero provides numerous helpful tools to help love others well. Below are questions to help you identify possible emotionally unhealthy relationships in your life. We all have them, and hopefully these questions will help us diagnose the problem.
–Are you practicing "I-Thou" or "I-It" in the majority of your relationships?
–Is there "false peace” you need to disrupt at home? At work? With your parents? Your roommate? Your boss?
–Where do you have unresolved conflict?
–Have assumptions you've made played a role in this conflict?
–When have you recently been hurt and disappointed because of an unconscious expectation?
–Can you identify other expectations in your life that are currently unspoken and un-agreed upon by others?
–When was the last time you had an emotional "allergic reaction?” Can you identify something in your past that triggered this?
3. Discover the "Otherness" of Others
Open your your eyes to recognize the separateness of every person you come in contact with.
–How are the people around you different and separate from you? Your spouse? Your roommate? Your boss? Your neighbor?
–Can you delight in their unique, “otherness?"
–Do you see the value and worth in every person, no matter how different they may be from you?
4. Receive Love
Create time and space in your life to receive love. To receive the self-sacrificial love of the very God that designed you, who made you all that you are: you can't give away something that you haven't received.
–Do you believe that you are lovable?
–Do you believe that you are good?
–Do you delight in your own “otherness?" Do you like the parts of you that separate you from others?
–Do you believe that God loves you, every part of you? That you were created with purpose?
> > > by Stefanie Drawdy