Lovewell: A Theology - Day 11

DAY 11
John 3:16-17
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

From this text, we see that it seems that authentic relationships are twofold; 1) they are sacrificial, and 2) they are non-judgmental. Let's talk about #2 first.

Being non-judgmental is more than not caring what other people do or think. Rather, it is trying to understand where they are coming from, and why they are doing what they are doing or thinking what they are thinking. This is the only way that we can come into closer proximity to them. It is so easy to simply walk away from someone who is different from us. But the harder thing for us to do is to try and live in a way that is understanding, hopeful, and learning. While we may not agree with everything someone says or does or believes, we can live in close proximity, authentically with them.

However, we have often taken the word “authentic” to mean that we have to tell them the “truth” about what they think.

A good example of this comes from the play “August: Osage County.” My wife and son and I went to see this on our last trip out to Chattanooga. It was done by a local playhouse, and the acting was really great. However, there was a scene in the play where the protagonist keeps saying “I’m just truth telling. . .” and continues to create incredible damage to everyone else in the house at that time.

Authenticity does not mean giving your opinion all the time. Authenticity is building relationships that are strong and honest enough to continue through disagreements; but those disagreements must live in a non-judgemental space.

Now, lets deal with #1. Authentic relationships are sacrificial. That means that we give more than we get, and sometimes it doesn’t feel fair. God was willing to give us his only Son in order for us to be in an authentic relationship with him, and that is in no way fair. But he did it because God understands that love is sacrificial in nature.

This means that we have to take a different look at what love might look like in our lives.

This is not to say that there are no relationships that are abusive when it comes to love, and we should always be on the lookout for those. However, we also need to be continually looking for what sacrificial love does for us and what we can do for it in our relationships with others.

Love has never been easy, and authentic relationships fall under that same banner.

  1. Who can you love sacrificially today? 
  2. How will you show that sacrificial love? 
  3. Are you a truth-teller? 
  4. Can your relationships handle the truth you need to tell? 
  5. Do you need to tell that truth? 
  6. Is there a way that you can tell that truth non-judgmentally and not only maintain, but grow the friendship? 
  7. What does a friendship look like that is non-judgemental? 
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