4/17 – WHY WE ISOLATE
Living in this fallen world, none of us escapes being wounded by the brokenness of the people around us. We’ve experienced judgement, physical or emotional abandonment, harsh words, passivity, and many other hurts, just as others have experienced some or all of those from us. As a result, our tendency often is to hide our hurts and doubts, pretend everything is ok, and avoid deep connection. But when we do, we miss out on the support, encouragement, love, accountability, and joy God wants us to experience in community.
Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!
- What are some of the reasons you think people don’t trust one another?
- What are a few events or experiences that have caused you to close yourself off by pretending everything is fine or led you to avoid connecting with people on a deeper level?
- What are some of the positive relationships or experiences you’ve had where you felt safe, accepted and loved? Do they give you any courage to try trusting others as well?
- Read 2 Corinthians 6:11-13. Why do you think we’ll never really feel loved if we aren’t real with each other about where we’re hurting or broken?
- Read Luke 6:32-35. Not only are we encouraged to be vulnerable so we can be fully loved, but God also tells us to fully love others regardless of how they treat us. What makes this challenging for you?
- What could be your next step to “Live Connected” more with others? It might be inviting someone for coffee, joining a Serve Network, or seeking out a Life Group.
2 Corinthians 6:11-13 — We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.
Luke 6:32-35 — If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
Spiritual Outcomes — Trust God & Relationally Engaged
In Jesus’ relationships here on earth, we can see how His disciples sometimes loved and believed in Him, while at other times they doubted and abandoned Him. He recognizes where we are broken, and understands how difficult it is to be vulnerable for many of us. He’s been hurt too, but even when others weren’t loving Him, He chose to be vulnerable and love them anyway. That may seem impossible to us, but God can make anything possible if we’re willing to trust Him and relationally engage with others.
- Learn more about how you can grow in trusting God versus money, relationships or career by working through the TRUST GOD outcome.
- Learn more about how to participate in and promote authentic, Christ-centered community by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!