Hold Back or Open Up? – Banter Breaker
Key Bible Verse: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. – James 5:16
Bonus Reading: Matthew 18:19-20
Years ago I was part of a group of guys who got together for breakfast every Saturday. We liked to think we had some deep relationships going, but our talk was mostly about “da Bears,” “da Bulls,” “da Cubs,” and “da Hawks.” (Hey, this was Chicago!)
One day one of the guys was quiet. We routinely asked him how things were going, expecting a smile and a “Fine, how ’bout you?” Instead, he blurted out, “Guys, my marriage is falling apart and I don’t know what to do!” I was so shocked that I almost dropped my toast. With one outburst he’d shattered our group’s veneer.
Suddenly we found ourselves rallying around him, praying for him, and revealing things about ourselves we had suppressed in the past. The experience drew us together like we’d never been before, and it changed the dynamics of our group forever. One person’s risk-taking had revolutionized our relationships.
Going deep requires disclosure. Transparency should be appropriate, equal, and gradual, and it should come after trust and confidentiality have been established. But at some point it has to come, or the relationship will remain shallow and ultimately unfulfilling.
—Lee Strobel in God’s Outrageous Claims
My Response: My guys group fellowship would go deeper if we agreed to …
Thought to Apply: When friends stop being frank and useful to each other, the whole world loses some of its radiance. —Anatole Broyard (literary critic)
Adapted from God’s Outrageous Claims (Zondervan, 1997, 2005)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to live an authentic faith for all to see.