07.07.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 6: Fear”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
Share a story about a time when you’ve been startled by something that wasn’t actually scary & you overreacted. What happened? How did you react?
First, take turns as a group discussing where you are currently experiencing anxiety or fear in your life. It may be a personal struggle, family situation, friend or romantic relationship, unmet need, financial or job uncertainty, etc.
Next, read Matthew 6:25-34.
As Jesus’ primary teaching on fear & anxiety, this section of Matthew is often seen as one of Jesus’ most famous & challenging teachings. Jesus begins with a conversation on control – pointing out that at the root of many of our fears & anxieties is a belief that we must exert control to make sure we can get what we think we need.
What is the relationship between control & fear? How do they impact each other?
Look at the things Jesus mentions specifically: food, drink, saving resources for the future, clothing, length of our lives, comfort & security, etc.
Why do you think Jesus starts with these needs when he begins teaching on the fears & anxieties that tend to challenge us? Do you react strongly to any of the ones that he mentioned?
Next, Jesus points to the cycles & seasons of our natural world in response to these fears & anxieties. He urges his disciples to find comfort in the way God operates our world.
Why do you think Jesus points to these things in response to our fears & anxieties? How do these challenge our sense of control?
What do you think Jesus is trying to teach us about God by doing this?
Notice that at the root of Jesus’ conversation of fear & anxiety are an inability to predict our precise future & a doubting of God’s future provision.
What happens to you when you become overly focused on the future? What emotions come up? Do you usually look forward with optimism or pessimism?
Why do you think Jesus connects our desire to predict our future (comfort, desires, needs, etc.) to our inability to escape fear & anxiety?
Finally, Jesus offers us with a solution. He urges his disciples to look at things as they actually are & live in the present. Jesus challenges us to be present & respond to situations as they are currently, not as we predict they might eventually be.
How does being present impact your anxiety & fear? Why do you think Jesus points to this as the solution in the end?
Are you good at being present in the midst of trials & successes (i.e., not looking backward or forward, but being fully available to the present moment mentally, spiritually, & emotionally)?
How might being more present help you handle the fear & anxieties that you discussed at the beginning of the conversation?
What are some ways that you think you could work on being more present?
Getting Out of the Hole
This week, write down five ways that fear may be impacting the situation, cycle, or emotional response that you are working on through this series.
Next – take 10-15 minutes each morning this week to reflect on how you can release your anxiety in that area & be more present. Take time to read Scripture, spiritual books, or meditate. Journal about how that practice changes your mindset towards the situation (even if it’s just a little bit!).
Each week – continue to share with your group how it is going!
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
The Naked Now by Richard Rohr
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, July 14: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing independence & dependence.
* Please see mye3.org for details.