Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Safe Vs. Unsafe People

Yesterday, I was reading some blogs doing "research". I was researching church community and saw that Kathy had done a post recently on safe communities vs. unsafe communities. Her post was driven from a book that she had read called Safe People.

After reading the list, I thought that her lists (the books) may be a good foundation for the sermon that I am working on for August 10th. The sermon is going to be the launching pad for our care groups that we are going to begin at Zion.

If I am a little honest, I am getting a little nervous about the groups, BUT that is not what this post is about. This post is about something that I believe ALOT of people are struggling with.

I mentioned this list on YMX and there are a few people who are beginning to discuss the list. A number of them have been hurt and have been abused by individuals, communities and churches. The reason for this is that the people they have been associated with have been "unsafe".

Now, to be honest, there are alot of them (us) that have been unsafe ourselves and with us being unsafe, we have damaged ourselves and others. I think that it is vital that we strive to be "safe" people and that we surround ourselves with "safe" people.

Too often though, we enter relationships with "unsafe" people and we do not put boundaries in them and we get ourselves hurt. So, without further ado; here is the list for safe and unsafe people. Read them and see about the following two things:

- are you safe or unsafe ?
- are those you are in relationship with safe or unsafe ?

unsafe people (and communities):

- think they ”have it all together”; no admitance of their weaknesses
- are defensive instead of open to feedback
- are self-righteous instead of humble
- only apologize instead of changing their behavior
- avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them
- demand trust instead of earning it
- blame others instead of take responsibility
- lie instead of tell the truth
- remain stagnant instead of growing
- resist freedom instead of encouraging it
- flatter us instead of confronting us
- condemn us instead of forgiving us
- stay in parent/child roles instead of relating to us as equals
- unstable over time instead of being consistent
- gossip instead of keeping secrets

safe people (and communities):

- accept us just like we are
- love us no matter how we are being or what we do
- influence us to develop our ability to love and be responsible
- create love and good works within us
- give us an opportunity to grow & stretch & practice
- help us feel comfortable being “ourselves”, to be authentic
- allow us to become the us that God intended
- use their lives to touch ours and leave us better for it
- help us be more like Christ
- help us to like & love others more
- make the relationship more important than opinions
- receive instead of just give
- are humble & willing to say what they need
- are honest, kind & don’t pretend
- work through resistances instead of giving up

It is my hope and prayer that we will be safe people. It is my hope and prayer that the care groups that we are forming at Zion will be safe communities. Then because we are safe, people will experience Christ.

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