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CD5002230 Posts: 2,444
9/14/09 12:07 P

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This is an interesting topic because I too have struggled with it. The tip off that I might need to reexamine my response was that it made me angry to be told what to do.

In trying to guard the authenticity of my actions, I began to examine what exactly I was taking exception to. Does that make sense? Do I really object to greeting someone or am I unwilling to challenge myself to grow in that area?

When we enter the congregation, we are coming together as a "body" . . . a unit. One 'job' of the leadership is to create a flow. Sometimes the instruction should be viewed as guidance to move us toward a desired end.

Children are expected to do what we say whether they "feel" anything or not. They gain experience and good habits that they themselves can reinforce later.

Perhaps the goal of the instruction is to help the members learn to reach out and demonstrate the love of Christ first 'at home' and then to the world.

The short answer is that I decided I was being rebellious and am still working at obedience to the covering God put over me.

I have to admit that I am growing more comfortable relating to strangers and digging deeper with the 'faces' around me during service. Without the PUSH, I would simply not be here.

God Bless you in your journey. I love your gentle, honest nature and the 'new me' would rush to the back row to hug your neck!!!

[The old me would love your gentle, honest nature and stay put in my seat.]


Edited by: CD5002230 at: 9/14/2009 (12:11)
CINDYHOUGHTON's Photo CINDYHOUGHTON Posts: 1,854
8/10/09 11:11 A

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Only because of my Teacher.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Pil 4:13.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, constant in prayer. Rom 12:12


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IUHRYTR's Photo IUHRYTR Posts: 20,646
8/8/09 4:18 P

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You are wise. -- Lou


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CINDYHOUGHTON's Photo CINDYHOUGHTON Posts: 1,854
8/8/09 12:21 P

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We rarely have a special greeting time in our church. I love hugs and have become a Sunday morning hug collector. Some people need to be acknowledged or they will never return to a church. It doesn't hurt getting out of our comfort zones every now and then and it can be very good for us both physically and spiritually. Ask God what he would have you do, then listen and obey. Maybe there is an area He is trying to get through to you so that witnessing will become easier for you. Maybe something entirely differen. Just ask, then obey, having ears to hear.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Pil 4:13.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, constant in prayer. Rom 12:12


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LAURIES_PLACE Posts: 919
7/26/09 10:41 P

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I do not go to a church--I attend a Messianic synagogue. We don't have the greeting time that many churches have. What we do have is a centuries old greeting, one that maybe Yeshua (Jesus) would have said. It is "Shabbat Shalom," and means Sabbath Peace. It is pronounced Shah-bot Shah-lome. We have no time to say it, it is just a greeting. I love it, and even when I don't go to services I say or sing it. It is a way of wishing someone the peace of the Sabbath, the peace that only knowing G-d can bring. It also sets the day apart from the other days of the week. (That is just part of the way we set apart the Sabbath.) So when I first see someone on the Sabbath, or when the Sabbath begins on Friday evening, or if I leave someone before the Sabbath is ended, I will say "Shabbat shalom." Our focus during the service is on G-d, not usually on each other, but there is still plenty of "togetherness." Anyone can dance during worship, we have full meals together after services on Friday and Saturday and before Bible study on Wednesday night. We have classes and dance practices after lunch on Sabbath. We are very blessed.

Lou, I am also one who feels uncomfortable with the hand-shaking-hugging--greeting time. I am, shall we say, reserved? We are each made in G-d's image, but we are also made to be ourselves. What is good for one is not necessarily good for others.

MALEXANDER4's Photo MALEXANDER4 SparkPoints: (261,370)
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7/19/09 7:23 A

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ours is a new church and small at this time. maybe twenty or so members, i love to hug and say hello to each and everyone. my family by nature is not like this. i enjoy the closeness. so i great each by name, my husband often asks how i can remember each one, i just say it must be the lord because i'm usually good with a face but can't remember a name to save my life. but here i know them all and i have gotten comments from the pastor about this. the other members think this is wonderful. it makes our church feel like family. and i'm not bragging, as is against the rules, i'm simply stating a fact. most people enjoy a touch. some of the congregation thought my husband and i were dateing because of the way we are with each other. a touch here, at hand there. but no, we have been married going on 15 years. saying hello to a fellow church member with a hand shake or hug is a way of reaching out to a fellow brother and sister. and we never know when a person may have needed that hug today. we never know what others are going through at that time, only the lord knows. michelle.

Michelle
Alabama


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If you can dream it, you can become it.
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JUST4ME927's Photo JUST4ME927 Posts: 1,762
7/18/09 3:44 P

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It was easy, I see it in the mirror.


~Tracy~

Our body is like armor, our soul like the warrior. Take care of both, and you will be ready for what comes. ~Amma St. Syncletice


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IUHRYTR's Photo IUHRYTR Posts: 20,646
7/18/09 3:29 P

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You have provided a wise and succinct perspective I hadn't thought about. Thank you.

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JUST4ME927's Photo JUST4ME927 Posts: 1,762
7/18/09 2:46 P

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Each of us have our own personal tendencies/comfort levels, and I totally respect yours. Your use of the words BY NATURE is what got my attention, though. In your fleshly,human nature, that may well be true, but in your spirit, are you uncomfortable or unwilling to extend the affectionate greetings?
Personally, I like SOME physical greeting, and for most folks, it being guided/with permission, is more acceptable. The Bible says to greet with a holy kiss...and it's my opinion that a brief handshake or hug is WAY more comfortable than that!
Maybe reaching out may become more comfortable for you with practice? Try seeing those as Jesus Himself...would you cringe from Him? Maybe someone you hug hasn't been hugged in a long time...and needing it desperately.
No judgment, no condemnation, just two sides to every coin.
Blessings.

~Tracy~

Our body is like armor, our soul like the warrior. Take care of both, and you will be ready for what comes. ~Amma St. Syncletice


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IUHRYTR's Photo IUHRYTR Posts: 20,646
7/18/09 6:23 A

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I admit I am not an extrovert by nature and I don't like being told what to do. I often need to force myself to be outgoing. In school I liked to sit toward the back so I could watch others in the class while listening to the lecture.

I feel the same way in church. I like to sit near the back. I also like to be left alone to meditate and to soak in the atmosphere of the spirit, the stained-glass windows, the organ music. I'll smile and say hi to people sitting next to me.

What I don't like is being told to stand and greet people around me with hugs or handshakes. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that but it seems like what it is -- forced -- and for me sets a tone different from the one I inherently enjoy. If being outgoing were easier for me I probably wouldn't mind the forced greetings, but as it is, it often bothers me.

What do you think? How do these rituals make you feel?

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