You may remember that, as That Pious Church Lady spoke for me last week, HH and I were on our way home from a youth camp. It was a wonderful time with our youth!
HH gathered the group after lunch each day and challenged them with the topic of love (while we all fought the urge for an afternoon nap). If any topic can keep the attention of youth, I think love would be the one!
HH is a gifted teacher, and I’m always glad to be his student. He led the “kids” through the early verses in I Corinthians 13, showing them how what we do amounts to nothing without love.
Besides the Bible, HH took information from Book Five of Barry St. Clair’s Moving Toward Maturity Series. I wanted to give Barry St. Clair the credit because I should and also because his books are amazing!
This particular day, we studied how
love and competitiveness cannot co-exist.
If we’re in competition with others, striving to “be better” than they are, we can’t at the same time love them.
We each took out a sheet of paper for a little self-examination. What an eye-opener that was! The teens were ranking higher than they thought possible, but the numbers on paper (their own rankings) didn’t lie. My paper didn’t lie, either, and I found some areas where I need work!
It’s such a helpful process, I wanted to share it with you today. How about it? Are you ready for a little self-examination?
Write the topics and your rankings below each topic on your piece of paper. Don’t worry, it’s private, so be honest with yourself. Rank from 1 to 10, ten being the most.
Write how you feel when your best friend:
_____Gets better grades (or has higher income, in our case)
_____Is more popular
_____Is better looking
_____Has a better job
_____Has better parents (or better kids, in our case)
_____Has nicer things
(Proverbs 17:14 and James 3:16) Don’t even start a quarrel – avoid jealousy before it starts. Jealousy/selfish ambition shouldn’t exist.
Are you boastful? Rate yourself on the following questions.
_____Do you try to impress people when you meet them for the first time?
_____Do you feel insecure around important people?
_____Do you exaggerate?
_____Do you crave the applause of others?
(Galatians 6:14) Our only boasting should be of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself for the world and for us.)
Are you arrogant? Rate yourself on these questions.
_____Do you see yourself as superior?
_____Do you wear a mask?
_____Are you prideful?
_____Do you keep your distance in relationships?
(1 Peter 5:5-6) We should respect others, act modestly and with humility.
Are you rude? How often would you:
_____Talk while others are talking?
_____Make fun of others?
_____Act obnoxious to get attention?
_____Look the other way when someone is talking?
_____Honk at another driver?
_____Neglect to say thank you?
(Romans 12:10) We should be devoted to each other, preferring to honor others.
Are you selfish? How often do you insist on your own way when someone in your family:
_____Wants to watch a different TV show?
_____Asks you to get off the phone?
_____Wants to borrow something valuable?
_____Needs help and you have other plans?
(Philippians 2:3-4) Treat others as more important than yourself. Look out for the best interests of others.
Are you irritable? Another crazy test:
_____Do you get angry when things don’t go your way?
_____Do you have a “short fuse”?
_____Do you let little things get to you?
_____Do you get frustrated with your family?
(Ephesians 4:26) Being angry is fine, but don’t let it lead to sin. Resolve the matter before nightfall. Resolve, don’t react.
Are you resentful toward others? How do you rate on keeping score with others?
_____Do you feel like people have hurt you?
_____Do you bring up past hurts?
(Romans 12:19-21) Never take revenge yourself. Serve your enemies and let God deal with them for you.
Rejoicing in Wrong:
Are you rejoicing in wrong? Do you:
_____Enjoy the juicy stories of the latest break-up?
_____Have negative thoughts about people?
_____Make ugly comments about others?
_____Find fault with others?
(Ephesians 4:29) Only speak positively of others – what’s edifying, not bringing them down.
Well, this was a lot of questions! I hope you were able to answer them thoughtfully, truthfully, yet quickly. If you answered tens or close to tens in a few areas, you know that’s where you’re off kilter.
If you’re like me, you may not be showing love in certain ways and not even realize it. My toes were stomped on a little, but that’s a good thing when it comes to love and relationships. Right?