How is it with your Soul? - Week 1
Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
16-18 My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.
Romans 8:5-14 MSG
5-14 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.
Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing...But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him…So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
Google dictionary defines the state of being self-conscious, as feeling undue awareness of oneself, one's appearance, or one's actions; self-pity, as excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one's own troubles, and self-justification, as the justification or excusing of oneself or one's actions.
• What are the outcomes of a life overly focused on the self?
• How does the passage from James contrast the life of freedom in God’s Spirit to the life focused on the self? What are the “compulsions” of focusing on the self? It may be helpful to make a list.
• How does the passage from Romans contrast trusting God’s action within us to obsession with self? Where does focusing on God lead us? Where does focusing on the self, lead us?
• Are you self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
1 Timothy 4:2 NLV
2 Those who teach this tell it as the truth when they know it is a lie. They do it so much that their own hearts no longer say it is wrong.
2 Timothy 3:16 NRSV
16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
1 Timothy 1:19 NLV
19 Keep a strong hold on your faith in Christ. May your heart always say you are right. Some people have not listened to what their hearts say. They have done what they knew was wrong. Because of this, their faith in Christ was wrecked.
• What warning do we find in 1 Timothy 4:2 about ignoring our conscience? What is the eventual result?
• How does scripture inform the Christian’s conscience?
• How can ignoring your conscience affect your faith?
• How does an uneasy conscious affect your prayer life?
• Do you insist on doing something about which your conscience is uneasy?