It’s Time To Live Open

We’re starting a brand new teaching series this Sunday with our students that I’m super excited about.  My life has been changed in some serious ways with real accountability.  In fact, I have 3 guys I meet with on a regular basis who have complete access to any area of my life at any time.  I wouldn’t still be in the game without them.  I’m excited to see how this stuff can help our students build this crucial habit into their lives now.

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This series is based on the content of Craig Gross’ new book Open.  We’ll be pushing students and families to purchase their own copy of the book to take it deeper.
Here’s some more info on the series itself:

Despite our best intentions, temptation always seems to loom around the corner, threatening to derail us into a desperate world of secret behavior and covered-up indiscretions.  From families to relationships to the drama at school, we are suckers for bad ideas.

Why do we so often make poor decisions that can lead to life-shattering results?

Why do we promise ourselves to do better only to slide back into our old habits?

Why can’t we help ourselves?

The time has come for each of us to become accountable.  To experience the freedom, peace of mind, and overwhelming self-confidence that come from living a life free of secrets and lies.

In every area of our lives, it’s time to go beyond self-help…. It’s time to get accountable.

It’s time to live Open.

Part 1 – Sunday, November 3rd

Part 2 – Sunday, November 10th

Part 3 – Sunday, November 17th

Part 4 – Sunday, November 24th

 

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How To Be A Person That Others Open Up To

i’ve been thinking lately about what it is in people that makes us perceive someone else to be “safe” while others to be “unsafe”.  i’m not talking about the ‘hey-little-girl-want-some-ice-cream?’ kind of unsafe here… but rather, the degree in someone that communicates to us that it is not ok to open ourselves up to.  or the degree to which i can look at someone and trust them and be totally comfortable sharing the real me without sugarcoating and hiding and glossing over the truth.

let’s face it… some people have it. and some people don’t.

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over the years, there are definitely some people i’ve not shared certain things with.  part of that has been due to my own immaturity and need to be comfortable with my own imperfections, but they are still worth noting.  real ministry is done in the context of real relationships, and if these things mark your life, you probably aren’t (perceived as) a safe person.

  • when you only share the good things in life i wonder if you’re safe.  “do you ever struggle, or am i the only one?”  if you only share the good, people will tend to think that you’re not comfortable talking about the bad.  they know it’s there in you just like it is in them, but if you’re not cool with going there, then they know they can’t truly fit in around you.

  • when you spiritualize everything we talk about i wonder if you’re safe.  “do you always have a verse for everything?”  i’m not knocking scripture memory here or bashing the value of talking in ways that ascribe glory to God… but sometimes i think people hide behind spiritual cliches because it gets them out of uncomfortable moments.  when i’m hurting, sometimes the best thing you can say to me is nothing at all.  just being there with your mouth shut will communicate trust in ways that your words never could.

  • when you never share details about your life that could make you vulnerable i wonder if you’re safe.  “do you ever stop managing your image and let down your guard?”  if you’ve never inadvertently asked me to extend grace to you because you’ve shared something potentially vulnerable about yourself, what makes you think i will share something vulnerable about myself and expect to receive grace back?  relationships are a two-way street, and the best way to get something out of me that will make me vulnerable is to lead the way by sharing something about yourself that makes you vulnerable.

so how do you be a person that others open to?

do the opposite of the above.

share the good… but also the bad. and don’t leave out the ugly.  talk about your losses just as much as your wins.  when someone asks how you’re doing, give them an honest response, and watch for how they react.  share the things about you that are messy and raw.  and let people in on the parts of you that God is still working on.

our generation is hungry for authentic people to open up to.  will you be the one to lead the way?