Less than human

I have decided to fire up my Relational Traction blog and am going to point it towards men, however it is not for men’s eyes only. It is hard to believe that over a year has passed by since I’ve written anything here. Most of my posts have landed on our Marriage Mosaic blog and pertain to the marriage relationship. The posts here will have application in all relationships and will come from my perspective and the perspective of others whom I respect in the journey to become whole in a relationship with the living God.

Recently I was struck and now stuck on something I read in Acts of the Bible, chapter 9 and I’ve bolded it below:

Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket. When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. (Acts 9:19-31 NASB)

What caught my eye is, “But Barnabas” and the fact that the disciples were afraid of Saul (apostle Paul). But Barnabas took the risk, became vulnerable and let Paul in, actually took hold of him or came alongside him. Why? Why did Barnabas take the risk? Why did he step into relationship with Saul, a guy who was having some of his friends and neighbors put to death just weeks or months ago? Hmmm?

There is a lot here to ponder, but maybe Barnabas had become fully human. See this new video by Jefferson Bethke and we will talk more about this in the coming weeks. It is good to be back in the arena where we can talk about traction in relationships. Thanks for joining me. See this link –


Shame…seeking an antidote

I found Brene Brown’s TED:Talk very interesting. Shame is an interesting subject to explore, but not an appealing one to most of us. I know it is there; I get frustrated and angry when I act and react out of my shame, but I just as soon quickly put it away in a box and not deal with it.

However, trying to put it in a box doesn’t deal with shame. Putting in in a box just prolongs the inevitable, another outburst, usually triggered by a stressful situation that is bound to come up in life.

Brene Brown suggests in her TED:Tallk, “Listening to Shame”, that vulnerability is the key to dealing with shame. In vulnerability we take the risk to live openly with others and share our shameful feelings, risking to live courageously in our relationships. What do you think?

What are the voices in your head that shame produces?

What does the Bible teach us about shame?Have you found any answers for dealing with shame in God’s Word, the Bible?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Next time I will share how shame often gets triggered in me and I will share what I’ve discovered in the Bible.

Traction killer

Here is a traction killer that I’ve talked about in the past but it bears repeating. This little YouTube video piece captures it rather well and is a good reminder for me today. I hope it helps you look at the person behind the mask who really wants and needs to recieve love.