Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Week 6 - You Matter More Than You Think

Week 6 - 6/4/08
Martha Clay, Interlude, Human Touch, Ultimate Good (25 pages)

With only 3 weeks left on this Book Study I wanted to take a minute to say THANKS to everyone who is reading along, whether you comment or not, I know that this book is helping and I am thankful to be able to be a part of this with each of you. You really DO make a difference!!!

Since we are pressed to hurry and get this out let’s just jump right to the “highlights”…

Chapter 12 – Martha Clay
“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure; Try to please everybody.” ~Henry Bayard Swope

Page 141 – “Martha, like many women, had become more concerned with doing loving things than with being a loving person. She was attending to everyone else’s needs, but she did not recognize her own need to sit at the feet of Jesus. Only later, when her faith in Jesus had grown, was she able to put aside her own worries and trust him even in the worst of circumstances – when her beloved brother Lazarus had died. As women, our inherent inclination to nurture can cause us to mistake selflessness for love.”

Page 142 – “Genuine love is not about doing without. Love may involve self-denial, but only as a means to meeting others’ needs. We can give our bodies to hardship, as Scripture says, and still not be loving. So remember to take care of yourself (AMEN Sisters!). In fact, if this disease to please hits a little too close to home (uh oh, is she talking to me?), let me ask you: What would you like to do for yourself if you weren’t caught up in taking care of everyone else?”

Ponder…
1) Do you ever feel like you might be a “Martha Clay”, suffering from the “disease to please” and sabotaging your own good intentions? If so, how?
2) Think of a specific time when you were so spent that you were, in all honesty, of little help to others? When and where is this most likely to happen with you?

Interlude
Page 145
– “Truth is, I’d love most to dialogue about making a difference – how you are making a difference. I can guarantee that if we did, we’d soon see whether you know it or not, that your difference-making is distinctly feminine, and therefore not always celebrated as a “great achievement.” As we talk, we’d clearly see that your difference-making grows organically from being a woman who God designed to value intimacy over independence and emphasize cooperation over competition. The more you see that this female distinction is in your God-given genes, the more inclined you are to see that you matter more than you think.”

Chapter 13 – Human Touch
“Whoso loved believes the impossible.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Page 154 – “The value of human touch is almost incalculable. Studies have shown it to be an asset for calming anxiety, alleviating stress, treating arthritis, back pain, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, headaches, and on and on. A study at UCLA reported that eight to ten meaningful touches each day help us to maintain emotional and physical health.”

Page 154 - “My point here is simply to say that, as a woman, one of the ways you can often make a difference is with a tender, loving touch. A gentle squeeze around the shoulders or a soft touch on the arm or hand can often say more powerfully than words “You are not alone”, ”I appreciate you”, “I’m sorry”, or “I love you.” Whether it be with a child, a friend, a family member, or your soul mate, don’t neglect this powerful – yet underappreciated – means to making a difference.

Ponder…
1) Consider a moment in your life when the physical touch of a friend or loved one “spoke volumes” to you. What did it convey and how was it different than hearing spoken words?
2) When have you used “tender touch” to bring compassion, hope, and healing to another individual?


Chapter 14 – Ultimate Good
Page 156-157
– “Obviously, big impact events and decisions do make a valuable difference. No question about that. But when it comes to defining what makes a difference at any level, we must return to this fundamental factor: love. Love is the ultimate good that lifts us outside ourselves. Love sees beyond the normal range of human vision, over walls of resentment and barriers of betrayal. Love rises above the petty demands and conflicts of life and inspires our spirit to transcend who we are tempted to settle for: decent, but merely mediocre. Love aims higher. Unencumbered by self-absorption, love charms us to reach our ideal. Love allures us with a hint of what might be possible. No question about it, love defines the difference.”

Page 158 – “You make a difference…when you care, when you encourage others, when you make a good decision, when you exert a little effort, when you ask the right questions, when you increase your knowledge, when you serve others, when you take action.”

Ponder…
1) What “good” have you done in the last twenty-four hours that you probably haven’t even considered until just now? Take a quick review and recall moments where you might have encouraged someone, expressed care, made a good decision, asked the right question, and so on.
2) Would you consider keeping a three-day diary of your difference-making moments? You might learn a lot about the difference you are making on a daily basis if you did so. Willing to give it a try? Starting today?


1 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Linda 12:06 AM  

I have not been reading along Mel but this is great stuff. Thanks for passing it along to the rest of us as well.
Blessings,
Linda

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