VFC Bible Study worksheet 22-Feb-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – February 22, 2015
Theme: Christian Maturity

Topic: Ability to relate to others.

Main Text: John 17:1-26

Key Verse: John 17:26 – “… that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Introduction

A measure of our maturity is our ability to relate to others – the breadth and depth of our capacity or relationships, especially the interest we show in other people and our ability to relate to them. We are as mature as our relationships.

The Trinity illustrates that relationships is the essence of being. Broughton Knox wrote, “The Father loves the Son and gives Him everything. The Son always does that which pleases the Father. The Spirit takes the things of the Son and shows them to us.” It was out of this atmosphere of perfect relationships that Adam was created. Then God saw that Adam needed someone like him to relate to, so He created Eve.

There are people who deliberately avoid relating to others because they think that is how to stay out of trouble. When you ask them they tell you of how they have been betrayed or cheated, and how they have come to the conclusion that it is best to avoid relationships. But such people live dysfunctional lives because we are made for relationships.

What are the key principles of good relationships? In Philippians 2:4 Paul writes: “… look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” He said the same thing in different words in Romans 12:10: “Honour one another above yourselves.” We see that the first law of good relationships is to be more interested in the welfare of others than our own. This means that in taking a position on any issue, we should consider the implication for others.

Another principle of good relationships is be more controlled by love for people than a fear of being hurt. A good indicator of our relationship with God is to look at the way we relate to others. Some of us might say our relationship with God is “fine”, but we relate to others in guarded ways that prevent us from really giving ourselves to them for fear of being hurt. Surely, relationships come with the risk of being hurt. But we must trust God to sustain us through such hurts.

A third principle of good relationships is the willingness and ability to project yourself into the other person’s situation and to see things from their standpoint. First, see every human being as one for whom Christ died. Then if they act in a way you deem unbecoming, try to understand them and then project yourself into their situation and see life from their perspective.


Discussion Questions:

1. Read Romans 12:9-21. List some key elements of a good relationship and compare them with the natural human tendencies or what the world would consider mature?

2. Read John 12:3-6. Jesus knew that Judas was a thief and that he would eventually betray Him. What does this tell us about relating to those we know can hurt us?


Prayer:

Father, fill me so much with Your love that I will be secure enough to give myself to others while trusting you to sustain me through whatever hurts may come thereby. In Jesus’ name I ask it, Amen.

{Partly culled from January/February 1993 edition of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, used by permission of CWR}