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 six, exploring perfectionism and how it affects our confidence to witness.
Tell the group why you’re a Christian in no more than three sentences. You could take a few minutes to draft your response on paper first.
Watch the below video.
Extract from Wednesday 7 Feb (p109) about Rebekah and church.
Extract from Tuesday 17 July (p217) – the conversation with Sally about forgiveness.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
1. What makes it difficult to express the reasons for our faith to others?
2. Who are the most awkward people to share our faith with and why?
3. Has any non-Christian challenged you on your beliefs in the way Sally does with Fran, pointing out the mismatch between your profession of faith and your outworking of it? How would you have reacted?
4. The Romans extract says that all we have to boast about is our hope of the glory of God, not any of our own ‘works’. If we really took this on board, how might it change our lives?
5. In the video introduction, Fran says she feels that our frailty and weaknesses as people can be used as a witness and attract people to the gospel. How far do you agree?
6. What will you take away from this six-week course on perfectionism? What will stay with you? What actions can you take to implement its ideas? Pray that God will work with you on addressing any issues it has raised.