Author: Jonathan Divine

Message Slides 08.18.2019

 

12 WORDS | Self-Centeredness | Pastor Mike Overstreet | 08.18.19
Final week of the Element3 Church series “12 Words”

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

1:

The Exodus Story:

  1. God liberates Israel.
  2. Israel is freed by passing through the waters of the Red Sea.
  3. Moses goes up on a mountain & comes down to teach God’s Law to Israel.
  4. Israel fails testing in the wilderness & wanders for 40 years.

 

Jesus’ New Exodus Ministry:

  1. Passes through the waters of baptism.
  2. Goes into the wilderness for 40 days where he is tested & he overcomes his testing.
  3. Begins proclaiming the Kingdom of God, calling people, & healing them.
  4. Goes up on a mountain to teach.

 

2:

Matthew 5:3-12 (NIV)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

 

3:

Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

 

4:

Salt in the Ancient World

  • Only real preservative for food that would rot.
  • Only common source of flavoring for the average person.
  • Used in small doses as a fertilizer. 

 

5:

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

6:

Light in the Ancient World

  • Took time & intentionality.
  • Needed for warmth. 
  • Source of security & safety.
  • Pointed the way home in the wilderness. 

 

7:

“Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves, ‘I am not the kind of person I want to be.’ It must never sink into an assemblage of the self-satisfied.” – Frank Herbert

 

8:

Unpacking the Box of Self-Centeredness to Become a Messenger

  1. First, you must hear & accept the Beatitudes. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, God loves you & calls you blessed
  2. We must believe that we can be salt & light. We are all called to flavor & light up our world. 
  3. We must seek to give away our blessing as a blessing to others
    1. Through our stories, lives, & invitations.
    2. Through our time & talents.
    3. Through our treasures & resources. 

08.18.2019

GOING DEEPER

08.18.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 12: Self-Centeredness”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Share a story about a time when you got to share big news with someone. What was it? How did they respond? 

 

The Dig

What first comes to your mind when you think about being a “messenger” in the spiritual context? Do you have positive or negative thoughts when you hear it? 

Next, read Matthew 5:13-16.

What stands out to you when you hear these two metaphors? 

Central to the metaphor is that neither the salt, nor the light, tries to be what they are – they just simply are salt & light

How does this impact how you understand sharing your faith with other people? Does that fit how you’ve seen spirituality & faith shared in the past? 

Next, take time to talk through each of the metaphors. 

Start with salt. This was an important commodity in the ancient world, especially when it came to preserving foods & adding flavor to meals.

How does this impact how you understand Jesus using this metaphor for us? 

What do you think this says about how we are supposed to live in the world? 

Next, think back to the sermon and the various ways that light was understood differently in the ancient world:

  • No electricity, so it took work to get fire/light.
  • Crucial for warmth.
  • Sign of safety & security.
  • Was used to point people home.

Which of these do you connect to the most? How do they inform what Jesus is telling his disciples to be & do in this teaching? 

What does Jesus see as the outcome when we fail to do these things well? How does self-centeredness play into what he is saying?

Finally, close by talking about the idea that we are blessed to be a blessing

What blessing in your life (your story, your time, your talents, your treasures) do you struggle with letting go of or giving away for God’s Kingdom? Why do you struggle with this?

What might it look like to try & be more generous in this area of your life? 

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 think about how you can give back. Look into volunteering & service at Element3 Church & reach out to a ministry leader. Just commit to trying out in that area for 1 month & see what happens! 


Additional Resources*

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

A Light to the Nations: The Missional Church & the Biblical Story by Michael Goheen

Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 25: Join us for our new series Practice Makes Permanent, where we will be looking at baptism, communion, & child-dedications as key practices of the church!

* Please see mye3.org for details.

08.11.2019

GOING DEEPER

08.11.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 11: Separation”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is your favorite thing to do when you are alone? Why?

The Dig

Before you begin, take time to talk about your history with prayer. What is it? What were you taught about it? How do you practice it today (if you do)?

How would you define the purpose of prayer? 

Next, read Luke 11:1-5.

First, notice that prayer is something that we must be taught how to do. 

Do you often think of prayer as something that you need someone to teach you how to do? 

Next – take time to unpack each part of the Lord’s Prayer. In particular, notice that Jesus tells his disciples to reflect daily on:

  • God as our Father
  • God as Holy
  • God’s Kingdom being built in our world
  • God’s generous gift of everything in our life
  • Forgiveness
  • Trust in the midst of suffering

Which of these stands out to you the most? 

Do your prayers incorporate deep reflections on each of these things? 

Which of these do you think you might need to add to your daily reflections/prayers? Why? 

Next – a central part of this prayer is making us more aware of the competing Kingdoms in our lives that aren’t God’s Kingdom – so we can seek to take part in God’s Kingdom more deeply. 

What sorts of other Kingdoms fight for our loyalties (for example: our work, American Dream, shame, etc.)? 

What do you feel often pulls you away from focusing on & following God in your daily life? How does prayer help us deal with that in our lives?

Finally, take time reflecting on the idea that prayer is meant to change us by bringing us into contact with God in the present moment

How does this impact your understanding of prayer? What might this look like in practice? 

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 practice centering prayer for 5 to 10 minutes every morning this week.

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Get quiet and breathe.

Step 2: Identify a single word you tie to God’s presence or your awareness of Him (ex: peace, 

Step 3: Sit, breathe, & follow your breath. On the exhale, say the word and then follow your breath again. Try to listen and rest in God’s Presence

Step 4: Each time your mind wanders – return to your and your word. Acknowledge the thought without judgment, and let it go – breathing it out with your next breath. Return to focusing on God’s presence. 

Journal about how this prayer practice makes you feel this week. Share your experience with your group next week.

Additional Resources*

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun

The Naked Now by Richard Rohr

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 18: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Self-centeredness & Messenger.

* Please see mye3.org for details.

08.04.2019

GOING DEEPER

08.04.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 10: Ignorance”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

What is the most recent new thing you learned (fact, skill, practice, etc.)?

 

The Dig

Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-29.  

In this part of the letter to the Church in Corinth, Paul is challenging the church to change their practice of taking part in communion. Namely, for personal & cultural reasons, they have been excluding certain people (the poor, lower status, etc.) from taking part in the sacrament – one that is meant to remind us of our unity in Christ.

In verse 29, Paul instructs those taking part in communion to examine themselves & discern the body before taking part – or else they bring judgment on themselves

What is the connection between participating in Christ’s sacrifice & discerning the health of our relational world? 

Key to the text is the implication that those who are hurting others are ignorant to what they are doing or not discerning when it comes to their own actions – they are failing to see how they impact other people in their community. 

What role does ignorance, or a lack of discernment, play in relational hurt? 

Can you think of a time when ignorance (of yourself or someone else) led you to inflict hurt on someone in your life? What happened? What made you respond the way you did?

Paul instructs the church to heal these issues by seeking discernment & self-examination

What role does self-examination & becoming more self-aware play in spirituality?

How do they make us healthier people relationally?

How would being more self-aware, or discerning, have changed the way you responded to the previous story you shared? 

Close by thinking through some practices of self-examination. If anyone in the group has routines or habits that they use to self-reflect, ask them to share their process. Also, ask them to share how these practices have helped them grow in any specific areas.

Close by thinking through & discussing about the practice of daily self-examination proposed in this week’s sermon. As a reminder: take 5-10 minutes at the end of each day, go through this process:

  1. Get into a quiet space & breathe.
  2. Consciously acknowledge God’s presence – both now & throughout your day (He is here & He was there).
  3. Review the day looking for gratitudes (at least 3).
  4. Review the day for moments of high emotion (particularly frustration/anger), stress, fear, or crisis.
  5. Reflect on those situations – what was going on in your head in those moments? What story about those situations did you turn to? 
  6. Choose one of those moments & pray over it – for healing, forgiving, & letting it go.
  7. End by looking forward to tomorrow – release the situation & ask God to help you do better next time.

 

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 reflect on self-examination. 

Reflect on this – in each moment, we experience:

Stimulus → INTERNAL STORY → Response

Understanding that internal story (usually from our past) is crucial for growing in our ability to be self-aware, present in a moment, & discerning of our actions. 

Journal this week about times when you feel like you react without thinking. What was the stimulus? What was your response? What story might be playing out in that gap?

Share this process with your group members this week.

 

Additional Resources*

The Naked Now by Richard Rohr

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, August 11: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Separation & Prayer.

* Please see mye3.org for details.

07.28.2019

GOING DEEPER

07.28.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 9: Conflict”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

What was your favorite board game growing up OR what is your favorite board game currently? Why?

 

The Dig

Before you begin – take time to discuss what comes to mind when you hear the word “reconciliation.”

Read Matthew 18:15-20 – Jesus’ famous teaching on reconciliation & resolving conflict within the Church.

First – think about the connection of forgiveness (the internal, heart work of giving grace) & reconciliation (the external action of reconciling a relationship/conflict).

What are the major differences between forgiveness & reconciliation? How are these related & connected?

Next – walk through the process of reconciliation that Jesus proposes.

Jesus first instructs his disciples to seek out & address conflict/hurt quickly. Do you often address conflict quickly when it occurs in your life?

Have you ever had someone approach you with a conversation like this (i.e., seeking to reconcile because of a wound you caused)?

The goal of this first conversation with the person is for both parties to feel heard & for resolution/reconciliation to occur. However, when this does not happen, Jesus instructs the wounded party to get other people in their relational world involved. If resolution still does not occur, he instructs his disciples to involve the community more & more.

Why do you think Jesus instructs his followers to bring new, trusted perspectives into an ongoing conflict? Do you often seek out perspectives different than your own when trying to resolve conflict?

Next – notice that Jesus expects his disciples to get the wounded party safe & to set boundaries, without leaving or ignoring the conflict at hand.

What role do safe & healthy boundaries play in reconciliation at this point in the conflict?

What sorts of boundaries do you think would allow someone to work to resolve a conflict, while remaining safe?

Finally – Jesus instructs his followers to treat unrepentant parties in the conflict as tax-collectors or pagans/Gentiles (people outside of the Kingdom in his time). Remember though – Jesus came precisely to call, invite, & disciple these exact people. In other words, the community (no longer the wounded party) is challenged to seek to disciple the offending party & call them back to following Jesus.

What does it mean that the final step is to change the conversation towards discipleship of the offending party? What sorts of conversations do you think would take place in this final step?

How does this change how you understand working with broken people who cause conflict?

Close by taking time to consider someone in your life that you might need to seek reconciliation with. What would the first step be in terms of reaching out to resolve that conflict?

 

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 reflect on reconciliation. 

 

More than almost any other week – it is important to remember that this word cannot be done alone. Reconciliation requires help, safety, & outside perspectives

With that in mind, take time this week to begin reflecting on this part of Matthew 18 in terms of a conflict in your life. Assess how to go about reconciling that conflict:

  • What does the first conversation with this person look like? 
  • Who do I need to include in my reconciliation process moving forward? 
  • What do healthy boundaries look like?
  • What (if any) was my role in the conflict? How can I own my side of the street? 

 

Share this process with your group members this week. 

 

Additional Resources*

 

Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven: Community Practices for Making Peace by L. Gregory Jones & Celestin Musekura

 

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

 

Sunday, August 4: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Ignorance & Examine.

 

* Please see mye3.org for details.

07.21.2019

GOING DEEPER

07.21.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 8: Resentment”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Think about a time when you were wrong but refused to admit it for way too long. What happened? What kept you from admitting it?

 

The Dig

Read Matthew 18:21-35.

Before we begin – it’s important to recognize that this parable is meant to feel intense. Are there any parts of it that really hit you on first read?

Next – take time to walk through the major themes of this parable.

First – at the heart of the parable is our own forgiveness by God & other people, & how that should change how we forgive others.

Share about a time in your life when you’ve been forgiven a lot & didn’t deserve it. What happened? How did that impact you?

Next – the parable highlights how often we forget our forgiveness when it comes time for us to forgive those who wrong us.

What do you think stands in the way of the unforgiving servant extending the same forgiveness to others? What role does forgetfulness (forgetting our own forgiveness before God/others) & entitlement (feeling like we deserve to be forgiven/forgiveness is owed to us, not a gift) play in the unforgiving servant’s response to the other servant?

Share about a time when you’ve failed to forgive someone, despite the fact that we have been shown forgiveness by others & God in big ways.

Why do you think it is so hard to extend forgiveness to others, even though we have often been shown it ourselves?

Re-read verse 35. Jesus identifies the state of our hearts as the determining factor for whether we turn to forgiveness & unforgiveness. In the New Testament time, the heart was not the place where human emotions/feelings were found, unlike in our culture today. The heart was the metaphor for where human will & choices came from.

How do you respond to the idea that forgiveness & unforgiveness are both choices that we need to make – not necessarily tied to how we feel about another person? Does this change how you understand this move of forgiveness?

Jesus also connects our willingness to forgive to our being apart of God’s forgiveness movement in the world – linking this heart change to being apart of God’s Kingdom work & discipleship.

Why do you think Jesus says this is so important for being part of his Kingdom & being a disciple of his?

Think of a person you are struggling to forgive. What do you think unforgiveness is costing you? Do you feel like it would help you heal if you were able to heal in that area? What might it look like to take a step towards forgiveness?

 

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 reflect on forgiveness.

Take time this week to write down the names of people that you are currently struggling to forgive. Take time to reflect on what it might mean to heal in that part of your life. If it is safe, consider how to begin the work of reconciliation or amends. If not, think about steps you can begin to take to heal your heart so you can begin to move forward.
Don’t try to walk the path of forgiveness (especially with deep wounds) alone. Share some of your thoughts with someone in your group.

 

Additional Resources*

Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven: Community Practices for Making Peace by L. Gregory Jones & Celestin Musekura

God and the Victim: Theological Reflections on Evil, Victimization, Justice, and Forgiveness edited by Lisa Barnes Lampman

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, July 28: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Avoidance & Reconciliation.
* Please see mye3.org for details.

07.14.2019

GOING DEEPER

07.14.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 7: Independence”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Have you ever tried to do something without reading the directions or being taught how? What happened? Did it go well?

 

The Dig

First – take time to discuss what comes to mind when you hear the words independence & dependence. Which do you prefer? Do you have positive or negative thoughts connected to each of them?

Many of us struggle with feeling like we are dependent on someone else. Why do you think that is? Do you struggle with that idea?

Read John 15:1-12.

Reflect on the central metaphor in this section: gardener, vines, & branches. Does any imagery stand out to you more than others? What comes to mind?
Notice – spiritual dependence on Jesus (the vine) & God (the Gardener) is central to growth in this metaphor. Jesus is clear: we cannot grow separated from our source of life.

In light of this metaphor – does your understanding of dependence & independence change? Why does Jesus see one as leading to spiritual growth & the other to spiritual withering?

Think of two times in your life when you felt that you were withering & thriving spiritually. What led you to feel that way in that season? Try to think of some common themes.

Next – take time to reflect on the spiritual fruit that Jesus claims his disciples will experience when they depend on him: keep his commands, remaining in his love, & loving one another.

How does a dependence on Jesus impact each of these activities? How do you feel you are you doing in these three areas currently?

Finally – notice that Jesus depicts staying connected to him as something that we impact by seeking to remain dependent on him.

Take time as a group to reflect on the activities, practices, & disciplines that help you stay connected to Jesus spiritually (i.e., prayer, meditation, Bible reading, service, etc.).

What makes you feel most connected to Jesus & spirituality?
What kind of activities leave you feeling most disconnected from Jesus & spirituality?

What are some changes (be reasonable!) that you could make to increase your dependence on Jesus spiritually & decrease your independence? Try to think of something you could start this week!

Close your session with prayer.

 

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 pursue solitude & meditation.

Many of us often pray without seeking to listen for God to speak. This week, try to adopt a new spiritual practice & try it out for 7 days. For example, each morning, read a short piece of Scripture that is powerful to you (I recommend a story from a Gospel about Jesus) & then take 5 – 10 minutes to sit with it silently. Simply sit with the story in silence & listen.

Afterwards, journal about anything that came to you in that time (words, thoughts, emotions, etc.). Anything at all – no judgment! Just see what comes your way.

Each week – continue to share with your group how it is going!

 

Additional Resources*

The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, July 21: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Resentment & Forgiveness.
* Please see mye3.org for details.

07.07.2019

GOING DEEPER

07.07.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 6: Fear”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

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?

 

The Dig

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!

 

Additional Resources*

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.

06.30.2019

GOING DEEPER

06.30.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 5: Secrecy”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

What’s a funny, but embarrassing, story that you can share about yourself? Think about a time when you did something that made you look silly in hindsight.

 

The Dig

Read 1 John 1:5-10.

In these verses, John gives the church he is writing to a teaching on the importance of community, confession, & growth.

First, notice the strong language between light & darkness.

What is the connection between secrecy & darkness? What comes to mind when you think of the connection between these two words?

On the other hand, John relies on the connection between God & light to discuss dealing with brokenness in our lives.
What is the connection between light & confession?

John lays out three essential components in verse 7 when it comes to letting God heal our brokenness through confession: light, fellowship, & Christ’s sacrifice (grace).

First, discuss the role of light. Often – we, as the Church, talk about Jesus as being “the Light” without thinking about what that really implies. In biblical times, light was crucial & rare – there was no electricity, so night meant real darkness & light was a sign of safety, hope, & finding one’s way home.

How does that understanding of light change the way you think about Jesus in terms of dealing with brokenness in our lives? How does it change the metaphor of “walking in the light” when it comes to our walk with God?

Next, think about the role of fellowship. John does not see this as optional – he claims that we cannot deal with our brokenness without fellowship & community. John also doesn’t see confession as a punishment, which we often seem to do in our culture. It is rather simply a spiritual tool necessary for the purpose of spiritual growth.

Why do we often treat confession as a punishment & think of it as being so hard to do? What keeps you from telling people about the stuff you are struggling with?

Why do we need confession in fellowship to do the process of growing right?
How does telling someone else the simple truth of your life help you heal, grow past it, & see things more clearly?
Have you ever found healing from telling someone about something that you have previously kept totally secret?

Finally, John closes with grace & the recognition that we all have brokenness in our lives.

What role does grace play in the process of naming our brokenness, facing it, telling it to someone else, & seeking healing?

How does acknowledging that we are all broken help us do confession well? How does it help us respond to people who are seeking to confess brokenness to us?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

This week, take time to pray & meditate on where you are trying to deal with a struggle in your life alone. What are the stories you tell yourself to not ask for help? What keeps you from reaching out? Think about one, small step you could take to involve someone else (i.e., reach out for coffee, write a letter, talk to a pastor, etc.). Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once – but the first step is always the most important!

Each week – continue to share with your group how it is going!

 

Additional Resources*

Reaching Out  by Henri Nouwen

Practice Resurrection by Eugene Peterson

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, July 7: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing fear & release.
* Please see mye3.org for details.

06.23.2019

GOING DEEPER

06.23.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 4: Denial”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

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!

 

The Dig

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!

 

Additional Resources*

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.