Take Aways – Intentional Relationships #1

Posted: January 11, 2012 in 1 Up and 1 Down

i have been thinking about my “Take Aways” from last Saturdays Onething Life. A ‘Take Away” is the practical application of a message or a word that is shared during our new Onething Life gatherings. On Saturday we heard a word from Andy Stanley on being in community and that it is vital to my Spiritual health.

One of my “Take Aways” was that, my friends determine the direction and quality of my life. i noted that i don’t do life with enemies, they are friends, for one reason or the other. i take the word friends very seriously, so i am not talking about just anybody i know. Some are because of where i work, while others are because it’s where i socialize. These are structured relationships. i listened to the word we heard about structured relationships at least 4 times and so i have been working on finding the right kind of relationships for some time. Onething Life is all about intentional living. i am very much aware that for the sake of my spiritual health i must find and enter into intentional, spiritual relationships. By the way you can go to www.onethinglife.com and watch the message.

The other “Take Away” for me was the idea that i gravitate toward acceptance… regardless of values. i disagreed with that the first two or three times i heard it, but finally realize that it’s true. For most of my life i have said that i didn’t care what people said or thought of me, but that’s not completely true. Specifically for the past 5 years i have tried to please people and find their acceptance of my thoughts and desires and please…. don’t ask me how that has worked. i like the next guy, enjoys a pat on the back or a word of thanks, yet i don’t die when i don’t get them, non the less i do expect them once in a while. That part about, regardless of values makes a huge difference. What i heard is that i am willing to put my values aside or at least compromise them to some degree in order to be accepted. This gets muddy as i consider the idea of acceptance, unity and not insisting on my own way. i have learned that i can disagree with someone and still have some kind of relationship with them, but, but, i must off-set those relationships with some like-minded relationships.

Jesus spent the day with the woman at the well, but didn’t go back day after day to have the same discussion over and over. He presented her with truth and opportunity to change her life. What she did after that was up to her. She had to go back to the same environment with the same people, including this man that she was with, who was not her husband and now figure out what to do with those relationships in light of this new relationship which told her to go and sin no more. Relationship, compromising values, truth or comfort, personal satisfaction or being found in Him.

Many times i read where Jesus leaves some form of structured relationship with people who do not think or believe the way He does, and finds a quiet place to spend time with His Father. He gives out and then takes in. i must find the same balance, giving out and then taking in. Being with people who i put into and then with people who put into me. As for acceptance… well that’s what i intend to intentionally work on, that my acceptance would come from the Father and that it would be enough. As for the values portion of it, i believe that His values would far out weigh mine and so i think i’m okay in doing life together with Him on that front.

In closing i realize that my “Take Aways” are not destinations to be reached in one week, they are lifestyle adjustments that i will be working on intentionally for the rest of my life. i am very fortunate to have some people in my life that i can begin with. For me it is easier to build upon that begin a new, so thank you to all those that are willing to take this journey. On the day when i do Take Aways the post will be a little different and for now i invite others that are doing Onething Life with me to share about their “Take Aways.” i am working on a better solution for doing this but i do not want time to slip away while doing so.

One last thought… if you think you are in relationship to change someone or help someone see the light, let me throw this thought out there. Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

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