Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ruby Club Studies

As we continued to build on our earlier topics of mercy and confidence, the next topic we studied in the Ruby Club was designed around the term longsuffering:

LONGSUFFERING - the opposite of anger; quality of self restraint in the face of provocation vs. hostel retaliation; fruit of the spirit

Alot of times the term patience is used as interchangeable with longsuffering. When, in fact, longsuffering is more of an immediate response to an adverse situation. The times when we, as Christians need to turn the proverbial other cheek when we have been offended/attacked. It is another characteristic of God that is a necessity for Christian women.

We read through Ephesians 4:12; Colossians 3:12&13; and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Then we considered whether we were applying these scriptures to ourselves or thinking about all the other people who don't seem to follow this? We talked openly about how easy it is to see other peoples' faults while ignoring our own and how important is to take God's word to our own hearts.

Then we played a game - BANG, your dead! If we died right now, would we see that argument with our sister/brother as important? How about God honouring? Was it really worth getting frustrated with that neighbour/teacher/store clerk? Did you glorify the Lord by arguing with that fellow Christian about doctrine?

Our relationship with God will dictate our ability to relate to others around us. Our success in taking hold of the fruits of the spirit come from study, prayer and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. It is the failures/sin of those around us that give us need to practice longsuffering by applying these scriptures to our hearts.

All of the girls talked about how easy is to retaliate when they are offended by both Christians and non-christians - it comes naturally with our own sinful nature. We talked about whether any of us are practicing the spiritual things we have discovered in our studies. Are we changing in our day-to-day life? Do we want to improve our relationship with Christ through self study? Are these verses we are finding just feeling good to read or are we practicing them?

The girls that attended the studies all seemed sincere in their wish to study more. They also came across as honest about their failures in practicing what they had learned from the studies, i.e. mercy vs. judgemental; faithful vs. selfish; and now longsuffering vs. angry. It was encouraging to see them return each week with completed study materials and thoughtful questions or input for the topics.

1 comment:

Mrs. Parunak said...

This is so good! We all need to think about this topic. I especially like your "BANG! you're dead" idea. That really puts things into perspective. I wish there had been a "Ruby club" available when I was a teenager. I'm so thankful for you and your devotion to actually helping teens grow spiritually instead of trying to entertain them like so many youth groups today.