Jacob's Well is probably my favorite church in the whole world. I've never been to it, mind you, but that has not stopped me from being in love with it. Next time I'm in Kansas City I fully intend to go and visit. So why am I so in love with a place I've never visited, much less seen? Well mainly it is because each Sunday night I listen to the latest sermon, and it is easily the most dynamic and meaningful message I will hear all week. And trust me, I hear several messages a week since I fall asleep to one of three preachers each night (Patrick Mead, Charles Swindall, and the Jacob's Well preacher of the week).
The last two lessons have been extremely meaningful for me. They have been about repentance and forgiveness. If you have time this week, I strongly urge you to listen to these two messages. They are by far the best messages I have ever heard on the subject, and have made me really think about how I view my relationships. It also helps me to realize more about repentance and forgiveness. Never did I realize the order that forgiveness actually occurs in as instructed by Jesus in Luke 17:3 . The verse reads, "So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." We must first point out sin, and if that person ceases from that sin, we are called to forgive. The hard part though is that we must "rebuke" that individual. We can't merely forgive them by never saying anything, we must actually confront the issue. Forgiveness is not just letting go, but actually dealing with the hurtful/sinful situation.
One of the things I realized is that over the last year or two I have become less willing to be vulnerable. I am more likely to not open up, more like to not place myself in uncomfortable situations, and hardly ever do I confront tough issues with people. As a result I think I've seen my friendships grow more and more shallow, and all new friendships have remained fairly superficial. So I want to work on that. Problem is, vulnerability is scary. But deeper, meaningful relationships are worth it.
If you have time – please listen. You'll be all the better for it.