RECENTLY DAN CRAIN HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SPEAKING AT DESIRE STREET’S “THRIVING LEADERS SERIES” HTTP://WWW.DESIRESTREET.ORG/PARTNERS/THRIVING-LEADERS-SERIES/ ON A TOPIC CALLED THE “UNDERBELLY OF SERVICE: WHY THE FALSE SELF PLAGUES SO MANY MINISTRIES.”
Watch the presentation here: https://vimeo.com/219781733
THIS IS A BLOG SERIES BASED ON THE CONTENT HE PRESENTED AT THIS WORKSHOP. WE HOPE YOU FIND IT BENEFICIAL AS YOU LEARN TO SERVE THOSE ON THE MARGINS WELL! YOU CAN REACH DAN AT DAN@REMERGE.ORG OR ON FACEBOOK AT DAN CRAIN – FACEBOOK.
“Codependence has many faces, but at its core it is a futile attempt to extract love from other people. And it is exhausting.” (Dignity Serves, v. 5: Phil Hissom)
Extract love from other people.
What does extract even mean? A quick definition found is; “remove or take out, especially by effort or force.”
How many times have I removed or taken out love from other people in order to feel better about myself? This is part of the problem in serving and loving those on the margins. Many times we are doing it because there’s something lacking in us.
At least that has been true of me in the past. When we moved to the neighborhood six years ago a friend with many years of ministry experience began to pick up on my co-dependent tendencies and upon getting to know her she pointedly asked me, “Why are you here?”
Of course I gave a great spiritual answer about God’s heart for the marginalized, wanting to live out a holistic gospel message, racial reconciliation, etc. and all of this was true to some extent.
What I didn’t see at the time was that I was also here to extract love from other people.
What does that mean? I was serving with an agenda. I wanted to help people so that I felt better about myself. I wanted to see people change so that I could fill a void in my life that was rooted in my family or origin that I was never good enough.
The question I began to wrestle with was, “What am I looking for from others that only Christ can give me?”
Six years into following the leading of the Spirit into my own brokenness and false self I can now begin to see what’s happening beneath the surface of my life. I can now begin to see why I was extracting love from other people.
What if we began to love from a place of already being loved? What if the primary motivation for helping someone or doing something wasn’t that I need to prove something or seek some sort of validation but to live and freely and without limits.
What if we fully understood that we are God’s beloved child in Christ and that he really loves and cares for us? What if we were actively aware of the presence of God at all times when we are in community with the marginalized, paying attention to God, not feeling rushed, hurried, or feeling like we need to fix.
What if we were just present knowing that we are the beloved of God and in the presence of holiness when we join our lives in community with those on the margins?