Over the last few lessons we’ve looked at what it means to be an emotionally healthy person. We’ve looked at what it means to be bound by guilt and shame in a negative way, and what it means to respond to healthy guilt and come to repentance and confession before the Lord. And lastly we talked about what it means to embrace joy; to choose joy during everyday life.
Q: Have you had an experience that you can remember where you felt the joy of the Lord overwhelm you?
All of our study thus far has been introspective. Meaning, to be focused inward. If you remember a few lessons ago we looked at what it means to understand and accept our created uniqueness in God. Then we looked at what our oneness, our relationships with others looks like. For our last discussion on emotional health, we’ll choose to look at what an outward expression of an emotionally healthy person in accordance with our oneness is.
When we think about our oneness we think about our relationships with people.
Q: What kind of relationships do we have throughout life?
Q: How do you think our “emotional health” affects our relationship with these people?
Q: What words come to mind when you think of relationships with other people?
Ex: respect, honor, unity, compassion, cohesiveness, strain, frustration, communication, understanding
As an emotionally unhealthy person, my relationships with other people will be tainted at best. Only once I understand my created uniqueness in the Lord, and I work to be emotionally whole, (meaning to understand my emotions, not be bound by shame, have proper and appropriate confession before the Lord, and embrace joy) then will I be able to appropriately have edifying relationships with other people.
Q: What do you think it means to honor other people?
Q: Who are the people in our lives that we should honor?
*Honor: 1) a good name or public esteem, showing of usually merited respect, 2) privilege, one whose worth brings respect or fame, 3) an exalted title or rank, 4) a keen sense of ethical conduct or integrity
- When we understand out created uniqueness and our emotional wholeness, we understand that we are no better than anyone else. Sin is sin- in our lives and in others. When we understand what Christ Jesus instilled in us- the ability to feel hope and joy, we can understand what grace is. Once we understand God’s grace and choose to accept it, we have the opportunity and ability to show that to others in our relationships.
~Read 1 Timothy 5
Q: Why is this so hard to do?
Ex: Hurt feelings, having been wronged, thinking respect must be earned.
Q: According to this passage, how can we choose to honor others?
Q: Why must honoring others be based off of a choice rather than rote actions?
- Write down the name of one person you are around on a daily basis. Come up with 1-2 ways that you can honor that person this week.
- Write down the name of one person in your life who it is hard to honor. Come up with 1 way that you can choose to show this person honor regardless of their response.
Honoring others is not just about outward actions, it’s about inward responses! If I choose to not be frustrated with someone close to me, but I harbor bitterness in my heart, what has that thrown off? My own emotional wholeness- I’m guilty of being in bondage to bitterness, and I have not chosen joy during a difficult circumstance. My thoughts toward that person are not pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Do you see how wholeness within our oneness affects wholeness within our uniqueness and vice versa?
As believers, we like to think we practice Colossians 3:12-17 really well. However, we often don’t.
Q: When we think about relationships, what is the stereotypical answer to why there is conflict?
Communication– however, communication is simply a manifestation of a deeper problem. That problem is rooted in the heart- not honoring one another. Sometimes people don’t deserve our honor. Their actions and their behaviors have been anything but deserving of dignity or merited respect. However, throughout the book of 1Timothy, Paul urges believers to honor one another based on one fact alone- each individual is created in the image of God. They are love by God, and pursed by God. The cross was borne for everyone. That knowledge alone is deserving of honor.
1) Can you think of a person in your life that is hard to honor? What emotions rise up within you when you think of honoring that individual?
2) Based off of what we have learned the past four weeks, what do you think is the most important aspect of emotional health to cultivate?
3) What type of effort or commitment will it take for you to look back at your list and choose to work to honor those around you this week?