Is there a relationship in your life right now that is out of sync?
Is there a friendship that needs some attention?
Is there someone in your life that you are angry at?
Romans 12:9-13 (NASB95)
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Do you feel defeated – frustrated in relationships or maybe you are in a spiritually rut or stagnate in your walk with God? Here are three phases of Spiritual/Relational Growth that can help you manage the tension of relationships.
Phase 1 – Embrace Truth & Grace
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Romans 12:9 (NLT)
Relational Truth means you are honest, transparent, and authentic about what is going on in your life and you ALLOW others to tell you the truth about who you are.
Relational Grace means you love and accept the person (not their behavior) who has hurt you or “let you down”.
Healthy relationships require you to utilize both Truth & Grace.
Phase 2 – Engage in Bonding Relationships
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Romans 12:10 (NASB95)
I believe the best place for bonding relationships to occur is within healthy Small Group, or support groups. It’s in a good small group that a person can start to share what is happening in their life and they can receive grace and truth from caring people. Here’s what it might look like:
- Truth – we share how God’s word has impacted our life over the past week. And we share with each other where we struggled in our life over the past week – where we failed…
- Grace – we love and accept each other no matter what they say or how they failed the past week… when we offer grace to each other instead of condemnation more truth comes out about what we are hiding in our spiritual life…
- Truth – sometimes then we have to speak truth to each other and share with each other some hard facts about their life… but because of grace when we share the truth about their life they know we are for them, we love them…
Phase 3 – Work at phase 1 & 2 for Extended Periods of Time
Time is the blender of small group ministry… it combats the “instant gratification” of our sinful nature and it develops character within our life.
Time gives our life the structure it needs to grow…
Please listen to the Audio Message below for details on each phase of spiritual/relational growth.