Life Groups Curriculum
FEAR is a bad driver
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down.
- Proverbs 12:25
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
- Luke 12:25–26
- Poor drivers are suited as a passenger, so it's shortcomings won't damage everyone else in the car
- Fear rarely leads to good decisions
- You cannot truly love when you're afraid
- Fear is caused by the failure of our idols
- If I love/pursue _____ will I be happy/safe/successful
- What to do when you feel emotionally threatened
- Fight flight or freeze
APPEARANCES: A Bad Umbrella
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
- Matthew 23:27–28
Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it … for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
- John 12:42–43
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
- Prov 22:1
- When it comes to the troubles of life, we can make wise choices and possibly experience fewer storms than others, but we can’t completely exclude them from our lives.
- Since the garden of Eden, people have believed that if they can create and maintain the appearance of success and virtue and goodness, no one will see through their veneer and recognize their true nature.
- Problems arise, however, when we devote our energy to cultivating appearances instead of working to develop real nobility and good character.
- Fear teaches us to pretend to know the answers, to avoid a situation. That’s why a couple struggling in marriage chooses not to get help from a counselor.
POWER: The Path to Paranoia
There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.
- Ecclesiastes 8:9 NIV
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- Mark 10:45
- When we are afraid we do not naturally respond in love.
- When power is driven by fear rather than love, the results are often catastrophic.
- Power, driven by love is self-sacrificing
- In our culture, money is power and power is money. As we idolize one, our desire for the other grows.
- Trying to obtain power out of fear leads to manipulation, attacking who we don’t agree with, demands, victimhood, screaming or silence.
- Frustration between parents and teens is the byproduct of the power struggle.
- Power makes an excellent tool but terrible god.
LOVE: The Antidote to Fear
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
- Ephesians 5:1–2
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
- 1 John 4:18
- When I am not courageous, it’s not a sign that I’m a coward so much as an indication that I’m failing to embrace love.
- My challenge is to love others so they will feel safe to risk, attempt, learn, try, fail, and try again.
- Love is the net that enables courage to grow.
TRUST: The Foundation that Stands
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- Isaiah 26:3
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:6–7
- Safety is not a strong foundation for a family home. But trust is.
- Trusting God means knowing, understanding, and embracing the truth that: that God is always good, right, and powerful and in total control.
- Trust is balanced by the hope of knowing God is in control.
HEART: Above All Else
I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.
- 1 Chronicles 29:17 NIV
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
- Proverbs 4:23 NIV
- The highest-ranking attribute we should all have is integrity.
- Five signs of integrity are, say what you mean, do what you say, respect other people’s time, respect others' decisions admit your mistakes.
- Character begins with the individual and spreads to the family.
- Two rules to teach your children, don’t lie and don’t be lazy.
- Be determined to protect your affections and desires.
- Laziness is a character flaw that fails to put in the heart and work necessary to accomplish life’s task.
- A person’s ability, to tell the truth, is a result of being in a home built on trust.
RELATIONSHIP: Choosing People Over Things
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Galatians 5:14
Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
- 1 John 3:18 NIV
- We chase the mirage of materialism at the expense of human connection.
- Appraising our relationships as highly valuable means that we are willing to pay a price for them.
- Strengthening our connections can greatly weaken the impact of worry. Anxiety is both a cause and an effect of being disconnected.
- When you aren’t focused on your image, you can focus on serving others.
- Negative experiences shouldn’t prevent us from connecting with others.
COURAGE: What Every Day Demands
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
- Joshua 1:9
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
- Psalm 56:3–4
- Three words that can transform any relationship, "I'll go first"
- During conflicts, we should be the first to do the right thing
- Be the first to break the silence, admit fault, change, forgive and act.
- Going first creates the atmosphere that causes others to decide if they'll respond in the same manner.