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Courageous Conversations

We can’t heal what’s not heard 

This year God has called us to “GO” into new places and spaces beyond the comfort of our preferences, but for His purposes. Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) says: “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

When we choose to “go” in line with Gods purposes it will often mean the uncomfortable surrender of our plans. If we have planned to avoid having to face our own prejudices in a conversation about racism, God has called us to go there for His purposes.

Jesus himself had to accept the suffering of the cross which led to the celebration of resurrection. We often desire the blessing of resurrection without embracing the process of crucifixion. This is what Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV): “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Whoever losses their own self-centred plans and preferences for Gods purposes will find life.

The pathway to finding the fullness of life God has for you may require your embrace of the unplanned discomfort caused by going into the arena of racial prejudice. No matter where we come from, or what colour our skin is, we all have prejudice that God wants us to deal with. This is why the focus of our courageous conversation has to be on ourselves and not on others.

What is God doing in your heart personally? For each of us listening to Sundays courageous conversation it would have stirred different emotions.

Check in:

  1. What emotions were stirred in your heart while listening to the courageous conversation about racism on Sunday?

It’s important that we are honest about our feelings because it’s part of us owning our story. Just because you felt angry, sad or confused doesn’t mean you’re bad. Remember, you aren’t your feelings. The important thing to do is ask yourself why you felt the way you did because the answer to that question will lead you to your heart.

And it’s at this point that we pray the words of Psalm 139:23-24.

 

ss anti racistDiscussion:

Where would you position yourself on that graph of growth? 

  1. What aspects of your personal life do you feel have played a role in determining your position on that graph?
  2. What are you learning about yourself by having to be honest about your prejudice and feelings?
  3. What first practical step could you take in contributing toward healing and lasting reconciliation?

As you end today pray the prayer of Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV) aloud together.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Throughout the rest of the week look at the graph each day and pray Psalm 139 back to God as he works in the depths of your heart.

As Dr. Tony Evans once said: “Don’t try to change the nation, if God can’t change your heart.”

You can see a list/watch any of all our sermons here or listen to the podcast here.

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