My place at the table – a need deep in the human soul

By Dave Henning / November 22, 2017

“There’s just something deep in the human soul that says, ‘I need to have my place at the table.”- John Ortberg

In the Introduction  (“Table for One”) of I’d Like you More If You Were More Like Me, John Ortberg states when he thinks of love, he thinks of a table.  Of Swedish descent, Pastor Ortberg notes that, for Swedes, a table = the primary love language.

Furthermore, John observes, many life-shaping moments occur around a table.  Also, at tables people tend to sit in the same places.  Because deep in our soul, we need to have our place at the table.  That means we belong.  We possess an identity.  John explains:

“For me, a table is a reminder that what really matters in life is relationships.  We are hardwired for emotional connection to other people.  We want to be known. . . . crave being loved. . .  to be accepted by someone who is completely aware of our gifts and our flaws and yet wants to be with us anyway.  In short, we crave intimacy.”

Yet, a lot of people consider intimacy a scary concept.  As a result, they strongly react to it.  Consequently, Pastor Ortberg presents four beliefs about why people fear intimacy.  John discusses the first two beliefs today.  We fear intimacy because:

  1. we’re afraid of hurtful actions.  Intimacy implies that someone knows us.  Therefore, that person knows our strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and fears.  In turn, an intimate friend possesses the options to bond and draw closer – or shame, wound, or betray.
  2. it can set us up for disappointment.  If you desire closeness with someone, you come to depend on their friendship or need their love.  Thus, rejection or abandonment wounds you to the core.  You feel like a fool for trusting your friend.

Today’s question: What Bible verses enable you to find your place at the table?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Intimacy – a fierceness that distance will never know”

About the author

Dave Henning

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