If You Have Come to Help Me

“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Julia Dinsmore shared this quote on Sunday, saying “Please educate yourselves. I’m so protective of my people…very well meaning folks come in with their ideas…it just hasn’t worked….we are experts on our own lives. Maybe we should be part of creating the solutions…”

What do you feel (emotionally and physically) as you hear this? How does this connect to your experiences?

A note about this art: “He has so much integrity,” Julia said about local artist Ricardo Levins Morales. Learn more about the origination of this powerful quote and take in his art here.

Want a great local place to go practice listening and hearing voices?

Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio

Regular hours Mon-Fri 10a-6p, Sat 10a-3p.

3260 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Contact


Hearing the voices of others starts close to home

“To fully listen to the voices of others we need to learn to listen to our own.” - Greg Meyer

What do you think? When have your history, emotions or your body made it difficult to really listen and hear another person? Especially someone who seems very different from you?

Use these prompts below to help you explore your own voice as you take in the voices and stories of others. Share some of your discoveries and ask someone else about theirs!


Rehashing the past and the F Word

Where are you stuck rehashing the past? What does the F Word have to do with getting unstuck?

In the “F Yourself” message Greg Meyer claimed: “You can forgive yourself because God is busy creating the future, not rehashing the past.” He reminded us of another Fabric conviction: “There is no baggage from your past that is greater than God’s vision for your future.”

  • How do you hear those two statements? Talk about it. (Does the G-Word get in the way for anyone? Talk about that too. These ideas need to stay bigger than any 3-letter word!)

  • Share examples of what re-hashing a past hurt sounds like. (I really did a dumb thing… That hurt so much… I am so angry…I can’t believe I… I can’t believe they…)

  • What can the shift to the creation of something new sound like? (What matters most to me now is… What I can do today is…What would help me right at this moment is…Something I know now is….)

  • What’s in it for people to stay busy rehashing the past? What’s in it for people to forgive in the now?

Find more on Learning the F Word

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If I forgive myself am I letting myself off too easily?

Forgiving yourself isn’t the same as lowering your standards. Because forgiveness changes you.

How can it sound to confuse forgiving yourself with lowering your standards?

How has forgiveness changed you? How have you seen it change others?

The G Word

Where are you on the God Idea Continuum?

  1. Pretty comfortable with the God Idea and God-talk

  2. Hmmm, God is a little more complicated

  3. God -talk is a trigger for me

  4. Nope, don’t buy it.

Our exploration of forgiveness requires us to take a deeper, bigger view of not only the F Word, but also this G Word. We need words and images to talk about anything, including what we refer to as “”God.”  Can you recognize and honor the ways you necessarily box-in that 3rd strand whenever you put words and images to it? Can you also find ways to hold yourself accountable to a bigger, deeper perspective than the one you can have by yourself? No matter where you are at with the “concept” at a given moment?

Talk about this together! Ask someone about their responses and struggles with this and really listen.

Things we confuse with forgiveness

It is easy to conflate forgiveness with forgetting, trust and justice. It is powerful to differentiate them from one another. Think about these statements to help.

To forgive does NOT mean

  • To forget that we were hurt. It does mean we can operate free of them.

  • To trust. Trust is earned.

  • Justice. Justice sets things right in our world. Forgiveness sets things right in you. They both matter.

3 Moves in Asking for Forgiveness

What does asking for forgiveness sound like?

  1. “I’m sorry I hurt you.” Period. (No qualifiers.)

  2. “I would like to receive your forgiveness.”

  3. “I want to prove worthy of your trust again.”

When was a time you were on the receiving end of a “good “ apology? What meant the most to you in that? Tell a story of a bad apology. How did it miss the mark? What makes these things so hard to say?

Getting F'd - Forgiveness Challenge 2

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Talk with someone you trust about this. What did you learn? What did it make you wonder? What was the hardest part for you?

Didn’t do it yet? Where can you practice that it is easier so you can build your skills for the harder places?

The problem isn't that you make mistakes

“Your problem isn’t that you make mistakes, but that you pretend you don’t.” - Greg Meyer on Getting F’d.

Talk about it: When is a time you had trouble admitting a small or big mess up? Our noses might not grow like Pinocchio’s - but what ARE some of the effects of pretending we don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for?

Find all the Learning the F Word messages at our Podcast channel.

We THINK Forgiveness...

We think Forgiveness:

  • Is about the other person

  • Means forgetting, getting over or overlooking hurts and wrongs

  • Makes things like they were before

  • Is too hard

What else do you think about Forgiveness? How could thinking about forgiveness differently shift something important for you?

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Why the F Word is Bad - Forgiveness Challenge 1

This Week’s Forgiveness Challenge: Name a time when someone did something that hurt you. Did you go to that person to try to work it out? Or avoid them because it was uncomfortable? Which is easier? Which is more likely to breathe new life into the relationship?