This 6 week course will help small groups explore why, despite the Bible’s clear message that we’re accepted by God through faith and not through effort, many find difficulty taking that message to heart. We can be conditioned, perhaps from childhood and other life experiences, to feel we ‘ought’ to perform better – at work, at home, with our families, at school or college, at church and at friendship. We strive for perfection. Consequently, when we don’t or can’t perform as we wish, and – horrors! – seem to get worse, we feel like failures. This is compounded when we believe that we can’t share those disappointments honestly, especially if everyone else seems to cope wonderfully. This is session one of six exploring how perfectionism affects out authenticity.
Tell the group a story about yourself but make one aspect not true. Can others distinguish between the truth and the lies?
Watch the below video to aid your discussion.
Extract from Tuesday 26 June (p198) – the lunchtime conversation with Jim.
Extract from Monday 2 July (p202) – Fran reflecting on conversation with Jim.
Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
1. In what way is honesty – particularly about our perceived failures – like a kiss? When have you been blessed by someone’s honesty?
2. Is Luke 6:31 applicable to the conversation between Fran and Jim even though Fran is a Christian and Jim is an atheist? Would it be ‘a bad witness’ for Fran to share her own struggles?
3. Is ‘holding back information’ the same as telling a bold lie?
4. Is it possible, or wise, to be truly authentic with everyone? Did Jesus set this as a model from his own life and can you think of examples?
5. In which areas of your life do you strive more for perfection? Why might this be?
6. What action could you take this week to share more honestly about yourself in a way that will be like a ‘kiss’ to someone else? Pray for God’s help to be more vulnerable and authentic.