Friday, August 29, 2008

My struggle with friends...

Okay, I don't think of myself as that tough to get along with (maybe I am! Don't tell me though, cause I'm feeling a little depressed as it is...) but this whole Bible study drama thing is getting to be too much for me.

As an aside, isn't it wrong on so many different levels to have drama in a Bible Study???

Basically, the new thought is that no one wants to come to Bible study anymore because we don't do much fun stuff...we actually do a study. Several years ago it was basically a social gathering where we would discuss (for at least 3-5 minutes) what we had read that week. Mostly people chatted, gossiped, etc.

Then came the blow up--two people (who were the ones accountable to the parish) wanted to get us back to praying (simple things...making sure that we prayed before we ate, before we discussed, and at the end of the evening) and several people didn't take it very well. It even turned into an issue with people who had missed that night as they took sides. Several people hardly talk to each other even now (which is an amazing feat, as most of the group is related to each other, at least by marriage).

So, the theory is that if we take more time away from study for socializing, that people will start coming back. At least this time there is lip service to keeping a balance between the two.

And here lies my dilemma...I've always HATED the socializing part of Bible study. Not because I dislike socializing (okay, not COMPLETELY due to the fact that I'm not that much of a socializer...) but because EVERY SINGLE social event turns to a conversation about people I don't know, but everyone else (for the most part) does. about 10 out of 13 of us grew up in this town. Another one married a guy who grew up here, and finally one other woman and I are complete outsiders.

What I am struggling with right now is this--do I just go along with all the social stuff and give it another try in the hopes that I will be able to relate to the group in some way...or do I politely decline from the social opportunities because I am fairly certain that they will go the same way they always used to?

And if I politely decline, what do I say when someone notices and mentions it to me. Also, if I decline, do I try to find another outlet for friendships with other people in town, or do I just decide that family is plenty?

Hubby's inclination is that I should try for 6 months or so to get along and do the social stuff before making any decisions...I'm just not sure yet. Any thoughts?


Sister Mary Martha said...

It doesn't sound like much of a Bible Study group. It sounds like a party where the Bible is mentioned.

It's especially sad to me that people had some sort of falling out over the whole thing. What are they going to say to each other in heaven? Or do they imagine that people to whom they don't speak won't be there?

Kathie said...

A very sad situation. Unfortunately, it happens all too often. We are missionaries in Costa Rica and it is often a major struggle to keep a Bible study rooted in the Word of God and not in a social chic of "lets blash the neighbors". Like you, I am not a big social person (I know, pretty surprising for a missionary, huh!?). Personally, I would pray, seeking God's direction on where He would have be be. This sounds like a small town situation. I will be praying that God will encourage you and guide you to just the right place where you can study His Word and feel involved and accepted.