Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church

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Relational Harmony

Back to all sermons Glorifying God in All Things

Date: October 22, 2017

Speaker: Jay O'Brien

Series: Glorifying God in All Things

Scripture: Romans 12:15–12:16

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2

In an "I-Thou" relationship, I recognize that I am made in the image of God and so is every other person on the face of the earth. This makes them a "Thou" to me. Because of that reality, every person deserves respect--that is, I treat them with dignity and worth. I do not dehumanize or objectify them. I affirm them as having a unique and separate existence apart from me....Buber argued that in most of our human relationships we lose sight of others as separate from us. We treat people as objects, as an "It." In the I-It relationship I treat you as a means to an end--as we might use a toothbrush or car. - Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality 


Sacred vs. Secular Relational Dynamics

  • Sacred relating seeks emotional solidarity     

“Jesus praises the weeping class, those who can enter into solidarity with the pain of the world and not try to extract themselves from it . . . The weeping mode allows one to carry the dark side, to bear the pain of the world without looking for perpetrators or victims, but instead recognizing the tragic reality that both sides are caught up in. Tears from God are always for everybody.”  - Richard Rohr

  • Sacred relating is self-aware and self-differentiated 

A person with a well-differentiated “self” recognizes his realistic dependence on others, but he can stay calm and clear headed enough in the face of conflict, criticism, and rejection to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotionality. Thoughtfully acquired principles help guide decision-making about important family and social issues, making him less at the mercy of the feelings of the moment. People with a poorly differentiated “self” depend so heavily on the acceptance and approval of others that either they quickly adjust what they think, say, and do to please others or they dogmatically proclaim what others should be like and pressure them to conform. Bullies depend on approval and acceptance as much as chameleons, but bullies push others to agree with them rather than their agreeing with others. Disagreement threatens a bully as much as it threatens a chameleon. An extreme rebel is a poorly differentiated person too, but he pretends to be a “self” by routinely opposing the positions of others. - "The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family"

  • Sacred relating values the perspectives of others

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. - Proverbs 12:15

  • Sacred relating is committed to a person not a social-class