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Show Notes

In this month’s episode of Friends in Formation, James, Richella, and Nate discuss honest listener questions about growing in humility, being disappointed with God, and feeling like a square peg in a round hole at church.

  1. [3:12] What disciplines are helpful for growing humility, other than service? Also how do you define humility?
  2. [14:25] If I’m honest, I don’t think God has done well by me.
  3. [28:12] I feel like a square peg in a round hole when attending church.ow widespread is spiritual abuse and what are its dangers?

[3:12] What disciplines are helpful for growing humility, other than service? Also how do you define humility?

Having humility is to have an accurate view of yourself and truth. Some disciplines that might be helpful include:

  • Study—maybe choose one gospel and as you go through it, look for the things Jesus actually did.
  • Service—take a year to really intentionally serve in some capacity, especially in hidden service. 
  • Solitude—disconnect from social media or email; we find that the world goes on fine without us, and we’re maybe not as significant or important as we thought. 
  • Try going through a day without saying anything bad about another person, or not having the last word in a discussion or argument. 

[14:25] If I’m honest, I don’t think God has done well by me.

God is in the difficulty and can take our hardest questions. We have to look at some of our expectations and assumptions and see if a kind of prosperity gospel hasn’t weaved its way into our thinking. The Psalms of lament are helpful. In real life there is a lot of suffering, and most of us feel at one time or another that the boundary lines have not fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6).

K.J. Ramsey says, The world has always worshipped strength, but God chose weakness to display his love. The spectacle of God’s love was never power or prestige, but descent. And it’s those who wear the spectacles of tears, who best glimpse this beautiful descent. God became human with blood that would spill and a heart that would break to unite us to love that lasts. The one with power gave it up, so that in our powerlessness we could know his presence. Somehow, it’s when we’re seated, instead of standing, well aware of our lack of strength, that we can most clearly see his.” 

[28:12] When I read the Gospels, I read about the kingdom of God and being part of it and proclaiming the Kingdom rather than just a salvation message to get people saved. I have much to learn, but I feel like a square peg in a round hole when attending church. From this background I feel disappointed with church and not totally aligned with who they are. How do I handle this? Is my head too big?

The church is the bride of Christ. Go in trying to be helpful; look for little ways to serve. Also, let the attitude be to go because you’re hungry. We’re looking for Jesus. God shows up in unexpected spaces – a line in a hymn, a verse of scripture. Church challenges the mistruths, untruths, and half-truths I tell about myself – you can’t get that on iTunes or signing up for things on the internet. Church is messy, and it won’t deliver everything we’re after. Go for others, because you care about community, about justice issues, because they will know we are Christians by our love. The hymn Where We Meet in Sweet Communion says, Where we meet in sweet communion, where the feast divine is spread, hearts are brought in closer union while partaking of the bread. Precious feast, all else surpassing, wondrous love for you and me, while we feast Christ gently whispers, Do this in my memory.’” He didn’t tell people to do that on our own. He knows that we need one another.

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