Week 1: From the Heart
We all monitor our behavior to some degree. This keeps us out of trouble and helps us in our personal and professional relationships. But Jesus invites his followers to take monitoring a step further.
- When you were a kid, what’s one thing you did that always got you in trouble?
- Do you have experience with a religious organization that implied or stated that your behavior is primarily what God cares about? If so, talk about your experience.
- Read Matthew 15:1–20.
- • What stands out to you from this passage?
- • Jesus takes a very harsh tone with these particular Pharisees. What is at the core of their question that makes Jesus so upset?
- • From the Pharisee’s perspective, what about Jesus’ response could come across as threatening to their way of life?
- • If you could summarize what Jesus is trying to communicate, how would you say it in one sentence?
- Which of these following emotions has a way of becoming the boss of you?
- Anger • Envy • Insecurity • Guilt • Fear • Greed
- What does it sound like (internally) when you’re listening to the “boss” you mentioned from the previous question?
- What is an early indicator that you are about to hand over control to that particular emotion?
- What regularly happens in your life that triggers that emotion? Instead of being bossed by the emotion, describe how you would ideally like to handle things when that situation occurs.
Our emotions don’t have to be the boss. In fact, Christians already have a boss—a better boss than anger, envy, insecurity, guilt, fear, or greed. And here is his invitation:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:28–29