Authentic Relationships: The Lost Art of One Anothering was one of my 12 Great Books to Read in 2012 selections and it was a great read. There were many good reminders and even some new thought provoking ideas as well as some solid calls to action for people looking to have stronger, authentic relationships. While reading nonfiction books I tend to use an index card to note the pages I want to come back to for my book notes upon completion of the text and this book's great ideas filled both sides of my index card. Here are some of the best quotes from the book.
p. 30 “[God] wants to set you so free in his love that it spills out of you and touches others...One anothering is not some onerous chore, but the joy of sharing God’s life, not only with his people but also with a world captive in darkness.”
p. 40 “Hurting people do stupid things. Usually the more stupidly they act, the deeper their pain. When someone lashes out at me or treats me with contempt, I am tempted to respond in kind. When I realize, however, that people who do such things are in incredible pain themselves, it helps me to be patient with them , hoping that my love and gentleness might open a door for their healing."
p 53 “If we learn to love one another, we will need nothing more. We won’t need commitment, we won’t fall victim to expectations, and we won’t be disappointed when others don’t do for us what we have done for them. God’s love demands nothing in return.”
p 71 “In a culture where most people are looking out for number one, random acts of kindness stand out as brightly as a lighthouse on a moonless night.”
p 76 “Our life in Jesus, or the lack of it, is demonstrated by our compassion for people in need. He looks at those actions exactly as if we are, or are not, doing them for him. His compassion is
contagious. Once we have experienced it from his hand, there is no way we can hold it to ourselves.”
p 83 “‘Serving one another in love’ marks the transition from being slaves to the law to living in the Spirit.”
p 92 “‘Whom can I encourage today?’ is a question we all can ask every day. When you know you are going to spend some time with someone, ask God what you might say or do that would help that person experience a touch of God’s grace.”
p 94 “Your demeanor, thoughts, or simple affection can rescue people from their own anger, ego, or selfishness and free them to live on a higher plane in the life of Jesus.”
p 96 “Stimulating people to love and good deeds does not happen by picking at their failures or by pushing them to try harder; it happens by helping them draw closer to Jesus.”
p 114 “Picture talking to God like a five-year-old crawling into her daddy’s lap and sharing with him her hurts, frustrations, wants and needs. It doesn’t matter of she makes a mistake or is unsure of what to say; he already knows her heart and is thrilled to have the moment with her.”
I guess the main idea of the book is that we need to take time to truly understand and bask in God's boundless, deep and eternal love for us and then we'll be naturally overflowing with love for others. My prayer for both you and I, dear reader, is that we will do just that. May the love of our gracious Lord flow through you today!