In the first session Susan Hunt gave she challenged us to consider whether we were taking life in our relationships or giving life. That sounds kinda weird, I know, so let me explain.
A "Life-Giver" is also known as a Helper. She defends her family and friends, she sees and cares for the oppressed, she supports and shields/protects, she rescues the poor and needy, and comforts. Her mission is summarized as community and compassion. She thinks more of others than herself.
On the other hand, a "Life-Taker" is a Hinderer. She attacks, is indifferent and unconcerned for the oppressed, she weakens and causes distress in her relationships, she ignores the poor and weak, and she causes discomfort. Her mission is divisive and destructive. This person uses people for their own gain.
So, in a particular situation or relationship I can ask myself some key questions:
- What does it mean to glorify God in this?
- What does it mean to bring this under the authority of God's Word versus my feelings/desires?
- Am I being a life-taker in this? How?
- What does it mean to be a life-giver in this?
- How can others help me (and how can I help them) be a life-giver?
Practically speaking, that means if I'm in a conflict with a friend I need to think about how I can give life (grace) to my sister in Christ; how can God be most glorified; do I need to give up my own desires and agenda to defer to this person; and how am I damaging this relationship by taking life?
This message has been running through my mind particularly in the last few days since I actually am walking through a conflict with someone right now. But, more about that