Where did you grow up geographically & culturally? What’s the biggest “quirk” that you still carry from growing up in this context? Consider specific phrases, words, habits, etc. Keep it light!
This Sunday, we used a panel discussion to reflect on how The Book of Ruth speaks to us about the concept of identity.
In particular, we focused on how Ruth, a Moabite woman, had to find her identity in a new land & family context. As such, consider what layers of identity Ruth had lost in a short period of time:
- Vocational identity
- Community identity (friends)
- Romantic identity (spouse, significant other, etc)
- Familial identity
- Cultural identity
- National identity
- Theological identity
Like every individual, none of these micro-identities singularly define Ruth’s entire person & each carries different levels of significance in directing her choices at different stages of her life. With that in mind, use some of the questions tackled on Sunday to reflect on how Ruth might speak into your own life.
As you’ve grown older, what layers of identity have taken on more importance? Which have become less important? What has led to these changes in how you weigh what makes up your identity?
Have you ever experienced a season where it felt like major parts of your identity were being stripped away or replaced? How did that feel in the moment?
As Ruth shows, transformation never takes place in a vacuum. We all have people who’ve helped & hindered our experiences of change. Who helped you navigate through the biggest seasons of change in your life? Did anything hinder you?
How has your culture shaped your identity in positive & negative ways?
What layers of your identity do you hope to make less important in directing your life over the next season? Which do you hope to grow or give greater influence? What impact do you hope that change will have on those around you?
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s section of Ruth might speak into your daily life.
- What layers of identity has Ruth had to shed in order to adapt to her new life situation? Which has she had to hold onto?
- What aspects of Ruth’s identity transformation do you relate to the most? Which do you find hardest to relate to?
- Where have you seen your identity change the most over the last year? How might Ruth’s story help you understand & navigate through that change?
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
World Biblical Commentary: Ruth & Esther by Frederic Bush
The Hebrew Bible: The Writings by Robert Alter
The Bible for Everyone: Ruth by NT Wright
Coming Up This Week:*
Saturday, May 14th: Join us next Sunday for week 4 of our series on The Book of Ruth!
* Please see mye3.org for details.