After a December break, Esther’s Circle met to fellowship with one another and discuss the next two chapters of Bob Goff’s book, “Love Does.” It was an evening filled with lots of laughter, catching up, sharing stories and of course delicious desserts. Our group has been reading this book for what seems like forever, it is entertaining at times, unbelievable at times and filled with stories about the great depths of love. Chapter 15, entitled “A Word Not to Use” sounds intriguing…huh, not so much, the mystery word is “that.” No cuss words, no play on abbreviations…just not to use “that.” Thank goodness the story does not end there; the idea I received was use more words for describing the same thing, use a thesaurus!
The study questions for Chapter 15 are: *Answers are only a reflection of this writer*
1. What are some examples of Christian “spin” you’ve encountered?
Churches imposing rules to attend services; Christians should be more conservative and less liberal; Members have presupposed levels of morality and socially acceptable behaviors.
-What could be the antidote?
Being authentic; God is concerned with our hearts and souls
2. How do you think the church may have gotten to the point where it sometimes “presents God’s plan like a prospectus promising a return on investment.
-What’s the real need?
In many ways the Christian life is an investment, we are here on earth spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and are reward is Heaven.
3. Pinpoint a couple of words in your faith language that are in danger of losing their power?
Acceptance and Love
-What are some alternatives? (Thesauruses encouraged.)
Acceptance (Credence) = adoption/accepting a changing world
Love (Beloved) = endearment
From a personal point of view I see many people using the word love often, I use it a lot and my fear is that it could lose its meaning over time.
4. Discuss the line between making an effort to keep things fresh and authentic and selling ourselves out to appear cool or desirable.
-What is our responsibility and what isn’t?
Each person needs to present themselves as authentic, be confident I in who we are and to whom we belong. Being honest with ourselves equates to being honest with others.
5. Bob says God “doesn’t spell out everything for us in life, but He does tell us how we can write our lives better; and trusting Him implicitly is always the right place to start.” In what ways might God be asking you to trust Him?
I know that God is preparing me for big changes in my life; I am learning to be open to His Will in my life especially as it relates to my finances, my emotions and my broken-ness.
The study questions for Chapter 16 are:
1. Regardless of your feelings on guns, what personal lessons can we learn from these two pieces of shooting advice?
-“You need to look through the scope at the things that are far away, but you also need to take your eye away long enough to see what’s close.”
-“It’s all about how you pull the trigger…If you pull hard, it will jerk the gun off target. So you need to pull the trigger super slow.”
Make sure you see the “Big” picture; never jump in before knowing the risks.
Having Goals are important but remember “baby” steps, formulate objectives in order to meet the Goals. Knowledge is power, living practical and within limits can provide security and peace.
2. What is Bob’s issue with the definition of sin as “missing the mark?” How do you feel about it?
For me, we all “miss” the mark because we are all sinful; try as we may we cannot be perfect. We are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world. The power of forgiveness is sometimes difficult for us to accept and receive; our pride-fullness is what keeps us from the richness of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God does not require perfection; He requires your sincere belief and acknowledgment that He is God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit all three and one at the same time.
3. What’s the best approach to take when we see people messing up?
Never place yourself in a superior place over another, meet people where they are, at their level, do not look down on anyone and do not be judgmental. Jesus came to teach and serve others, His love and grace is sufficient for everyone.
4. What about when we mess up?
My first instinct is to hide, I am fearful of reprisal and I am very judgmental of my own actions, more than the actions of others.
I want to try to bring all this information into a single point, if possible. The one thing about this book that I adore is the conversations involving “love.” What I take away from these two chapters is that if I choose love in all areas of my life, life does not seem so overwhelming. Being authentic, treating others with compassion and seeing the “big” picture can be very powerful tools in living a life, a Christian life I can all be proud, not to shed light on me but on my Savior and Redeemer, I have life only because He created me and gave me purpose, God has wonderful plans for you…Trust in Him today!
~Blessings and Peace~