17 July 2014


Restless Part 5

This is the Bible study my MOPS group is doing over the summer.  Please feel free to catch up and read the last few posts on the chapters in the book.

Chapter 1 Intro

Chapter 2

Chapter 3 Suffering

Chapter 4 Places

Main Point: Pick Imperfect People, Love Them, Be Intentional, Don't Leave Them

This week's study was all about the business of people.  It was all about how we are all imperfect.  Jennie reminded us in the video (we watch a video clip each week before we review the notes/homework) the importance of grace and forgiveness in our relationships with people.  

She reminded us that loving people gets messy.  But that the beauty of relationships, the beauty of dealing with people and being intentional about pursuing people is that all of us are eternal beings.  Sometimes I think we forget that.  We forget the value of each person.  We forget the value of each soul.  Maybe you don't, but I definitely do.  In fact Jennie (and I totally agreed) brought up how the minute people don't meet our standards, or drain us, or cause us pain we tend to want leave them.

I can relate to that feeling.  In fact, I remember a sermon Pastor Steve gave once about difficult people.  He said in this world there are two types of people: soft blanket people (I love you guys) and sand paper people (ummm, you guys are rough), and he talked about how we all love the soft blanket people but that God uses the sand paper people in our lives to smooth our own "rough edges" and we may all think we are blanket people, but to somebody else, guess what...you might be sand paper!

The point is, no matter what type of personality you have, we were all created by God and we are all valuable and we all NEED each other.

I love how Jennie constantly talked about in the chapter about our need to pursue people and be intentional about it.  I find this rather easy because I really enjoy people, I can make friends easily, and I can start a conversation just about anywhere (at the grocery store, in line at the post office, at the park, etc.).  But I struggle with the fact that not everyone else may have my list of needs or standards in a friendship.  It's hard for me to keep pursuing someone who I feel does not reciprocate in the same way.  I often feel like I am the only one putting in all the effort into the friendship and then I give up or pull back if I feel the other person is not doing their part.  Do you find you are this way too?  It's definitely a flaw on my part because we are called to love others unconditionally.  And Jennie talks about this constantly in this chapter.  We are called to pursue and love others and not to leave them no matter how they treat us.

Look at the life of Joseph in Genesis 41-45.  Look at the life of Jesus in the 4 books of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).  Joseph displayed such loyalty, respect, kindness, and compassion for people, even though he was treated so unfairly by so many.  It was not "all about him" it was all about loving others.  Joseph had care and concern for all those in authority over him and in the end his hard work was blessed and prospered and he preserved life for countless people.  All because he knew how to love people.

If I was Joseph...and my brothers through me in the pit, sold me into slavery, and then years later came to me for food and help, I think I might be bitter.  But Joseph never displayed bitterness.  He knew that God allowed that suffering in his life to preserve life for others.  He wasn't angry or bitter.  He allowed God to heal his hurts and to forgive.  And in his healing, he was able to be a blessing to countless others.

Mark 12:28-34 Our First and Second Callings as Followers of Jesus:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength

2. Love your neighbor as yourself

Jennie talks about how loving people is a great investment of our time.  She asks...

1. Who do you need?
2. Who are your mission minded, like minded friends?
3. Who are the people who make you love God more?
4. Who can you safely share your soul with?
5. Who are wiser mentors you could pursue?
6. Who needs you?

Obviously we all need God!

But who are the people that need you?  Are you using your life and giving your love to people around you that need you?  And Jennie was not talking about our spouse and children (obviously they need us!) she was talking about people we come in contact with every day that we may need to be more intentional about and look into their eyes, and love them for the sake of loving them.

One thing I will not forget about this study is that we all need grace, we all need God, and we all need love.  I really want to do better at loving those around me and really being intentional about "seeing" people...really "listening" and really "loving" people unconditionally. 

Jennie ends the chapter by asking:

Who needs you?  Who needs God? Who needs hope?


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