06.23.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 4: Denial”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
Share about a time when you thought you were definitely right about something & then found out you were wrong. Try to think of a funny example – don’t be too hard on yourself!
Read Matthew 7:1-5.
First – take time to reflect – why do you think Jesus takes the act of judgment so seriously? What about judgment gets in the way of someone being a disciple to Jesus?
One of the easiest ways to find out where we are judgmental is to reflect on who or what kind of behavior brings a reaction out of us that is unreasonable for a situation. In other words, look for where you tend to overreact in terms of criticism, frustration, annoyance, or anger.
What sorts of actions, behaviors, or character traits leads you to be judgmental? What about those behaviors frustrate you?
Usually, our frustrations & judgments tend to reflect – to some degree – things that we often don’t like or want to see in ourselves. We project some part of our internal world onto the other person & then react strongly from that place.
Think about that thing that frustrates you. What is going on inside of you to react the way you do? What might it say about your heart?
Next, notice that Jesus does not clarify that he is talking about only judging other people. In some traditions, this is read as Jesus prohibiting the act of judgment altogether. This means that Jesus’ prohibition includes no casting judgment on yourself.
Looking at ourselves with non-judgment is crucial for naming the brokenness in our lives & growing beyond it.
Why does self-judgment get in the way of self-honesty in our lives? How does it blur seeing our brokenness clearly?
For most of us – naming our pain or struggle is not only the first step towards recovery, but the biggest/hardest step too.
Why is it so hard to name the hard things in our life (negative behaviors, brokenness, pain, addictions, etc.)? What stands in the way of naming it honestly?
How does community help you get past that struggle?
If you are willing, take turns practicing self-honesty with your group. Try naming something you are struggling with in your life right now (behavior, emotional response, addiction, etc.) & share honestly about where you are at. (Group Leaders: remind your members not to try & fix the other people’s problems – just listen, say “thank you”, & share your own story in return).
Close by talking about grace – unmerited & undeserved divine favor. How does grace help you with being self-honest? How can recognizing & accepting grace in this current situation help you heal?
Getting Out of the Hole
Continue reflecting on what you are working to change & grow in during this season (see: Going Deeper for Control for context). This week, take time to pray & meditate on what story is behind that part of your life. What internal story do you tell when you take part in that behavior or decision?
“Everytime I feel _____ I do ______ because I tell myself it will help me _____.”
Keep it simple, honest, & concise. Reflect on how self-honesty & community can help you change your story about this part of your life.
Each week – continue to share with your group how it is going!
Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction by David G. Benner
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer
Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, June 30: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing secrecy & confession.
* Please see mye3.org for details.