Leaning In

Taking the easy way out and offering up platitudes does not lead to growth and change.

Read Mark 8:31-38.

Jesus is a master at leaning into uncomfortable conversations. When he begins to openly talk about his upcoming suffering, rejection, and death, Peter does what most of us would tend to do. He wants to brush it off and put a positive spin on things – to make the conversation more pleasant for everyone involved. Jesus calls Peter out on this habit. Truly following Jesus will not always be pleasant. The Way of Christ is often counter-cultural and requires hard, frank conversations with others and deep examination of ourselves.

Taking the easy way out and offering up platitudes does not lead to growth and change. But taking up the cross, while sometimes uncomfortable and challenging, leads to a deeper understanding of who God is, who we are, and who we are to be. Satisfaction and a sense of meaning are measured not in the absence of conflict, not in terms of being right about everything, but in living out the values of the kingdom of which Jesus speaks. And sometimes, this means settling into the vulnerable space of hard conversations.

What hard conversations have you had recently? Did you willingly enter into the conversation or did you feel dragged into it? What was the outcome of the conversation – was it all negative, all positive, or a little of both? What hard conversations have you been avoiding? What is keeping you from entering into it? What’s the worst that could happen and what might be the best outcome?

In prayer, offer these situations to God and ask for the strength to face uncomfortable conversations with grace and with courage.


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