Week 2: The Key to Success
What’s the first question you normally ask a person when you first meet them? If you’re a man, at least, it’s usually the question, “What do you do?” Or, if we say, “Tell me about yourself,” the person usually responds by explaining their chosen career or job title. There’s something inside of us that very quickly confuses “What I do” with “Who I am.” There’s a big difference between Success-Based Identity and Position-Based Identity. When we base “Who we are” on “What we do,” we become confused and disillusioned when we fail. God wants us to see ourselves as He sees us: “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). This is Position-Based Identity.
1. Read Matthew 16:21-28. According to these verses, what does identifying with Jesus instead of our success mean for us?
2. The pastor said, Sunday, “Where hurry increases, compassion decreases.” Have you found this to be true? What are some things we can do to slow down the hurry and be more open to the needs of others?
3. Read Luke 10:38-42. It’s easy to knock Martha, but someone had to do the work! What is good about what Martha was doing and what was not good?
4. Martha whined to Jesus, while Mary worshiped Jesus. When you think about your relationship with God, do you feel that you worship Him more than you complain to Him? Does this mean we should never complain to God about our problems?
5. Jesus says Mary discovered the one things that matters… what is that “one thing?” Have you discovered this one thing like she has?
6. Some things change when we identify with Jesus instead of success: (1) see moments as blessings instead of burdens; (2) treat people as human beings, not human doings; and (3) focus on being interested instead of interesting. Which of these will you intentionally trust God with this week?
Idolatry is not just about golden calves or Buddha statues. It’s about how we choose to relate to the world around us and the God Who created us. When we idolize success, we place ourselves above the rest of the universe and see others as less important. Even more, we run ourselves into the ground trying to maintain our hard-earned ego. This week, pick a day to turn your phone and technology off for one or two hours. In that time, rest by taking a slow walk, read your Bible, pray, or do something that says to God, “You are God, I am not, I trust You, and I can rest in that.” Share with the group what you plan to do.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life… Matthew 11:28