Our capacity to give love to others hinges on our capacity to receive God’s love for ourselves.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, John 17:20-21, 1 John 4:7-11
- The foundation of a relational framework is trust. Unfortunately, due to sin, our capacity to trust without hesitation is broken.
- We must feel safe enough to allow ourselves to be seen, known and still loved.
- We don’t become ourselves by advancing ourselves at the expense of others. We become ourselves by denying ourselves and embracing a different way.
- We don’t listen, we filter.
- In any given relationship, there are competing agendas.
- Our relationships will only grow as deep as we are willing to avail ourselves.
- Concealment chokes out a relationship. Withholding and avoidance undermines intimacy.
- Intimacy isn’t the absence of conflict, but rather provides a safe place to resolve it.
- You have to risk the fear of being rejected in order to be loved.
“We trust no one, and our deepest inclination is to seize from life what we need while protecting ourselves from its disappointments and threats.” –Larry Crabb
- Read the quote from Larry Crabb. How have you witnessed the truth from this quote play out in your own life as well as those around you?
- Why do you believe trust is in short-supply in our culture? What connection does safety play in our ability to trust others?
- In any given relationship, there are competing agendas. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? What types of agendas can people bring into their relationships with others?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. How do the qualities of love described in this passage counteract the notion that love should be easy? Of the characteristics listed, which one is hardest for you to display and why?
- Read John 17:20-21. How is becoming our true self tied to the way we approach our relationships and connections with others?
- Read 1 John 4:7-11. What serves as our source to give and receive love from others?
“Our determination to fully trust no one must die and an eager willingness to receive what is best from others and to give what is best from within ourselves must take its place.” -Larry Crabb
- Read the quote from Larry Crabb. In what relationship(s), does your determination to fully trust no one have to die? What makes you hesitant to receive and give love to this individual?
- Would you say you are more a people presser (marked by tension and pressure) or a people pleaser (marked by shared misery and avoidance of discomfort)?
- What agenda do you tend to bring towards your connections with others? Why do you approach your relationships in this way?
- Concealment chokes out a relationship. What situations are you allowing to remain hidden and off-limits to others? What would it look like to avail yourself to others and bring these areas to light?