When someone is bold enough to change their Facebook relationship status to “It’s Complicated,” everyone else takes notice and starts speculating about what’s going on. The fact is, all of us among the human species know what it means to have complicated relationships. We’ve been in the business of making marriage, family, and friendship more complex for thousands of years, and at the root of it all is our sinful nature and selfish tendencies.
The only way to avoid the complications of relationships is to have none. We human beings need each other, so God created us with the capacity to love, to have friends, to get married, and to live in community with each other. But, as Facebook would attest, many of us would simply say of our closest relationships in life, “It’s complicated.”
Ever feel pulled in every direction? Like everyone wants a piece of your time, money, and energy and there’s just not enough to go around? It might be because you’re “prioritizing,” a modern American idea in which we try to keep everyone around us happy. What if, instead of a list of priorities, you could live with just ONE priority? Just… seek the Kingdom in all of your life.
Rebellion is bad, right? In the sense that we are all born bent away from God toward sin, yes. But when God gets hold of us, changes us from the inside out, and sets an entirely new agenda for our lives, it is then time to become a radical and rebel against everything our old nature would have driven us to do and everything the culture pressures us to do.
Some churches raise the bar when it comes to recruiting small group leaders. You need to be a member for X amount of time, well versed in the church’s doctrinal statement, agree to a lifestyle covenant, etc. The more qualified the leader, the stronger the group will be… or so goes conventional wisdom. But is that really true?
Context: The following are my notes for a message to the men gathering for Saddleback’s Herd Saturday, which is why it’s a message directed primarily at men.