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Chapter 7: Are Followers of Christ Mature?

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Questions 7.1:

1. Who are the current stars in politics, entertainment, and business?

2. How do those people show that they don’t have God’s kind of wisdom?

3. How do we sometimes imitate them in our Christian communities?

4. What are some ways we could avoid this?

We tend, in Christian communities, to focus on the sins of the world, and we remind each other to avoid them. But what about behaviors that aren't sinful in themselves, but just cultural?

 

Notice, this week, all the different ways people behave with people in our culture. Are there assumptions about the right and the wrong ways to do things that work against living in love together?

Questions 7.2:

1. When have your plans clearly been guided by the Holy Spirit?

2. Have you ever realized that plans that seemed great on paper were not what God wanted you to do?

3. How have others, either in your local church or in the worldwide church through the centuries, helped you to understand God’s plans for you a little better?

4. How would listening for the Spirit, and looking for the mind of Christ in community help you to make decisions according to the wisdom of God?

Do you ever wrestle with God alone? I think we probably all do at times. And certainly, sadly, there are communities, even Christian communities, where it is not safe to share one's struggles. But God does also reveal himself in the midst of his people.

 

Watch, this week, for ways you might help to build a Christian community that does its searching and listening for the Holy Spirit's guidance together.

Questions 7.3:

1. Are you jealous of someone in your community?

2. Are you not speaking to someone in your community?

3. Do you side with one certain leader when conflicts occur?

4. How could we help each other to grow up in these areas?

Did you find this section convicting? I know I did. I kept imagining a parent, telling a child, "Oh, just grow up, will you?" Maturity demands toughness, and although I mentioned the need to stay safe in the comments on questions 7.2, God also calls us to take risks and to, as one of my friends once put it, "Put your big girl panties on, and just do it!"

 

Notice, this week, how you might bring maturity into any conflicts in your Christian community, asking for God's wisdom and strength as you do so. (Matthew 18 may be helpful as well.)

Comments:

Posted by Barbara on
7.1 - The current leaders are in music, like Lady Gaga, in politics like Obama, in movies like Georges Clooney and in business like Donald Trump. They use the spotlight for themselves and their causes. That's not necessarily bad, but they are not pointing people to God. In our Christian communities, the pastor with the bigger church building or greater following gets more honor. The one who has written more books or teaches at a seminary is considered smarter. Honoring people with quieter gifts would help balance this. I have a friend who prays mightily and I think she ultimately moves more mountains than all of these
Posted by Barbara on
7.2- I usually start with prayer when I am about to make a decision. Then I ask my husband, family and friends. They help me think through all the angles. Also, they will help me with the outcome and they are more aware of what I am thinking and how my life is going. This community is wonderful. Most of the time they help to clarify my thoughts but rarely do they introduce something brand new. So, my community usually affirms my decisions. I have several friends with the gift of discernment. I especially go to them because they seem to see deeper into a decision. I know it's from God because it is so unique and well thought out. Others go to them for this also. It provides a brake and a hedge for those of us who might jump into something too quickly.
Posted by Barbara on
7.3- I think I have gone the opposite direction as I've gotten older. Since I teach for a Christian school with many different denominations ( and even religions), I try to be more inclusive in my thinking and speech. In fact, Christ is the sole rallying point. I realize in church life, things are structured around certain traditions. You need that to hold the denomination together. But those distinctives don't really affect me and therefore I think of the Body of Christ as quite large and loose, extending around the world.
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