Teaching Series Introduction:
People are complex. You and I are complex. How do we understand ourselves and each other? How do we move toward one another in God-honouring ways? How do we love wisely in the context of everyday relationships?
One of the most memorable songs in recent years is the song ‘Human’ by Rag ‘N’ Bone man. It’s an honest reflection on the complexity of human relationships, with the line ‘I’m only human after all. Don’t put your blame on me.’ It’s something we’ve all felt at times – I’m just human, don’t expect perfection! The word ‘human’ originally means ‘of the earth’. It’s where we get our word humours from – dust, from the ground, from the earth.
During 2020, we’ve had a glimpse of some of the limits of our humanity, but also some of the best of us humans. And, as we begin to emerge out of this pandemic, it’s worth getting back to basics to remember some foundations of what it means to be human. When we know who we are, we can rebuild for what’s ahead.
Our guide will be the very opening words of the Bible. Yes, the first few chapters of Genesis provide is with rock-solid foundations to be able to navigate uncharted times. We’ll be thinking about our purpose, our relationships, our sexuality, our identity, and how we live in changing times. We’ll be grappling with some pretty big questions that we all face in life.
And as we do so, we’ll discover the freedom in being neither dust nor divine. Yes, join us at Riverside to find the freedom in being able to say “I’m only human after all!”
Title: Human – Session 10: THE USE AND ABUSE OF POWER
By: Tim Chilvers
Date: 11 APRIL 2021
Bible Passage: Genesis (chapter 3, verses 9 – 24) & Luke 14:7-11
We all have power, but we don’t realise it. Sadly, some of us have experienced the misuse of power in very damaging ways. How might we use and even abuse our power? And how do we handle power in our relationships? In Genesis 1-3, we see several instances of power and begin to discover that there is a very different way that God uses power. And as we see how Jesus uses it we discover the upside-down way to use power for good.
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- As you think about your own relationships, where would you say that you have ‘power’ over someone else? And where do others have ‘power’ over you? What does ‘power’ like this in these situations?
- Read through Genesis 3. Where are the examples of ‘power’ being used over others?
- What do you think are the motivations behind these instances?
- What is the contrast between the way that God uses power with every instance?
- Read Luke 14:7-11 and Matthew 20:25-28. What, according to Jesus, is the contrast between Jesus’ way and that of others? What might this look like in your life?
- Author Henri Nouwen once wrote, ‘What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love…It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.’ Do you agree?
- Take some time to pray for the areas of your life in which you have power and influence over others, and in which people have power and influence over you. Ask God to help you see them with his eyes.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
BOOK: ‘The way of the dragon or the way of the lamb’ by Jamie Goggin and Kyle Strobel
VIDEO: ‘10 lessons from the current church abuse scandals’ – https://youtu.be/sGJNOBPJMh8
VIDEO: ‘Healthy views of power in the Church’ – https://youtu.be/GK3G8ACQbW8
PODCAST: From Speak life – ‘10 lessons from the current church abuse scandals’
Watch Online: YouTube
Listen Online: PodcastComing Soon