Locking arms: real life change comes from relationships…

This Navy Seal picture reminds me of how we need each other.  I was going through some of my journaling files and found the following statement:

Accountability without relationships is ineffective at life-changing results.  To be moralistic without context always pales compared to the incarnational revelation of the mess of life.  It may be good and necessary at times, but indeed bears only behavior modification and not the kind of heart change that real life-on-life connection and effort can bring.

What strikes me is that in my experience as a follower of Jesus that I learn and grow more from the “incarnational revelation of the mess of life” than the simple moralistic, behavioristic pressure many pursue in their Christianity.  What works is if I am accountable to people who actually care about me! The danger is when you or I as Christians open our lives up to Christians who really are more about devouring us than championing us. These unsafe people will damage us. (See Ephesians 4).

Being a professional minister is hard sometimes to get these relationships going.  You live in a glass house where people know you at one level, but we all need the kind of friends who lock arms.  I am also new to my  town and this area of the country.  So, I am just beginning to build locally safe people who lock arms with me while missing desperately the people I left almost a year ago.

So, what safe people do you have in your life that lock arms with you?  If you don’t have them, get going!

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. what a great post and I love your wording! I am experiencing “incarnational revelation” in several places. Due to the stress and issues our church has gone through and how it simply brought me to my knees, I joined a two year retreat community with other Christian leaders. That has been life-altering and ministry saving for me. In the “mess” of everyday life I have some friends on my team and staff who are very close.

  2. what a great post and I love your wording! I am experiencing “incarnational revelation” in several places. Due to the stress and issues our church has gone through and how it simply brought me to my knees, I joined a two year retreat community with other Christian leaders. That has been life-altering and ministry saving for me. In the “mess” of everyday life I have some friends on my team and staff who are very close.

  3. what a great post and I love your wording! I am experiencing “incarnational revelation” in several places. Due to the stress and issues our church has gone through and how it simply brought me to my knees, I joined a two year retreat community with other Christian leaders. That has been life-altering and ministry saving for me. In the “mess” of everyday life I have some friends on my team and staff who are very close.

  4. what a great post and I love your wording! I am experiencing “incarnational revelation” in several places. Due to the stress and issues our church has gone through and how it simply brought me to my knees, I joined a two year retreat community with other Christian leaders. That has been life-altering and ministry saving for me. In the “mess” of everyday life I have some friends on my team and staff who are very close.

  5. Your comment about “Christians who really are more about devouring us than championing us” reminded me of a pastor friend who was inexperienced, naive or flattered into believing a member whose comment was, “God’s will for me is to make you the best pastor you can be.”
    Since his downfall and implosion I’ve taken boundaries to heart. PTL I have a wife with great people antenna and who pulls me up short with certain folks.

    Alan

  6. Your comment about “Christians who really are more about devouring us than championing us” reminded me of a pastor friend who was inexperienced, naive or flattered into believing a member whose comment was, “God’s will for me is to make you the best pastor you can be.”
    Since his downfall and implosion I’ve taken boundaries to heart. PTL I have a wife with great people antenna and who pulls me up short with certain folks.

    Alan

  7. Your comment about “Christians who really are more about devouring us than championing us” reminded me of a pastor friend who was inexperienced, naive or flattered into believing a member whose comment was, “God’s will for me is to make you the best pastor you can be.”
    Since his downfall and implosion I’ve taken boundaries to heart. PTL I have a wife with great people antenna and who pulls me up short with certain folks.

    Alan

  8. Your comment about “Christians who really are more about devouring us than championing us” reminded me of a pastor friend who was inexperienced, naive or flattered into believing a member whose comment was, “God’s will for me is to make you the best pastor you can be.”
    Since his downfall and implosion I’ve taken boundaries to heart. PTL I have a wife with great people antenna and who pulls me up short with certain folks.

    Alan

  9. Rich,Thanks for this post. I took the liberty of sharin’ this on my Facebook profile. In my humble opinion, this is where the rubber meets the road! That’s why it’s soooo hard.
    Keep on pressing towards the mark bro! (even when you are not getting a lot of posts.) People are reading, they just don’t always comment!!!
    Blessings,
    Reg
    <>

  10. Rich,Thanks for this post. I took the liberty of sharin’ this on my Facebook profile. In my humble opinion, this is where the rubber meets the road! That’s why it’s soooo hard.
    Keep on pressing towards the mark bro! (even when you are not getting a lot of posts.) People are reading, they just don’t always comment!!!
    Blessings,
    Reg
    <>

  11. Rich,Thanks for this post. I took the liberty of sharin’ this on my Facebook profile. In my humble opinion, this is where the rubber meets the road! That’s why it’s soooo hard.
    Keep on pressing towards the mark bro! (even when you are not getting a lot of posts.) People are reading, they just don’t always comment!!!
    Blessings,
    Reg
    <>

  12. Rich,Thanks for this post. I took the liberty of sharin’ this on my Facebook profile. In my humble opinion, this is where the rubber meets the road! That’s why it’s soooo hard.
    Keep on pressing towards the mark bro! (even when you are not getting a lot of posts.) People are reading, they just don’t always comment!!!
    Blessings,
    Reg
    <>

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