In preparation for presenting at an upcoming workshop, I asked a few people from the WGA community: “People coming to my workshop want to know how to love people as Jesus loves them. What does it look like for you to be loved by the Church?”
One woman’s response seemed to encapsulate Body Life as God designed it to be. Here are her own words, just as she wrote them:
What does it look like for me to be loved by the church?
First, to be known, truly known.
Second, to be truly cared for…
I’m not sure what it would mean to me to be truly cared for but perhaps I would need to be truly known first. Like family, known and despite my faults and failures loved anyway.
“100% grace 100% truth no exceptions.” 😊
To be truly loved would look at times like someone taking the time to speak the truth in love to me perhaps if I have veered away from what is good true and holy.
To be truly loved would look like a listening ear at times. A loving embrace perhaps.
Prayer over me, and scripture to be spoken over me in the spirit.
It would look like acceptance for me despite my sins, my fallenness and shortcomings. Loving the sinner but not the sin.
All that said… I think my quote for you would be…
“I think the first step toward love in the church would look like a people who care to take the time to truly know and be known by one another, in truth, in vulnerability, in trust, in faith. I don’t think we can truly love one another until we truly know one another. Faults and all, deep struggles and triumphs, the things that have brought us to be the person we are here and now. It takes a people taking interest, therefore taking the time to be in real true relationship with one another. As Christ asks us to do with him.” -Anonymous
Mary is one of the founders of Where Grace Abounds and served as Executive Director from its inception on July, 1986 through March 31st, 2007. She speaks and teaches at churches and conferences across the country. She has also served on several boards of non-profit organizations, is a conference speaker on a variety of topics that include: Intimacy with God, Healthy Sexuality, and leadership development. Currently, Mary serves in leadership in her denomination. Mary’s favorite ministry roles are discipleship counseling, group facilitation, and leadership development.
Mary often characterizes herself as “a seeker of Truth” and has a long-standing fascination with human behavior and motiviation. Her education consists of lay and discipleship counseling, indepentent study about the integration of psychology and theology, counseling and human sexuality. She also holds a BS in Human Services and an MA in Psychology from Regis University.
Mary attends a Friends (Quaker) Church.
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