What defines your identity: your performance, your possessions, your popularity… your passions? Instead of letting these define our identity, we get our identity from who God created us to be! In this message, we begin our journey into healthy spirituality. We will see how Adam and Eve opened themselves to false versions of themselves, but Jesus invites us to live the authentic lives we have been destined to experience!
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week CLICK HERE
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how your week is going. What are some of the highs and lows?
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Our culture makes a lot of statements about how we should view our identity, saying it should be about performance, wealth, popularity, possessions, the American dream, etc. Jesus claimed something different. Here’s the tension: we live in a culture that claims our identity is personal and individual only, but this takes us out of the original intention for our lives: to live in healthy relationship with God. When we live without this original intention, we lose the true version of who we are meant to be.
Alternatively, God invites and encourages us to define our identity around him and his love. When we embrace this invitation to identify ourselves through who God made us to be, we live our lives with the true version of who we are meant to be. Sometimes we can get these two ways of viewing our identity mixed up, however, so this week we are going to discuss how we can reorganize ourselves according to what God says our identity should look like. This leads us to our big idea for the week:
Big Idea for the week: We can find our true identity in a relationship with God.
- What is the purpose of identity? Why does it matter how you’re viewed by other people?
- Where do you think your view on identity comes from?
- What do identify your personal identity as? How do you think those elements of your identity were formed and where did they come from?
- How has your identity changed over time? Why did these changes happen?
Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions.
The first verses we are going to read come from the book of Psalms, which is a collection of songs from various people. This specific one comes from King David, one of the key people in the history of Israel, and one of Jesus’ ancestors, Take note of how David views himself in his relationship to God.
- Psalms 139:13-16
- How, according to the verses we just read, do you think David views his identity?
- What do you think your friends, family, and coworkers would assume you find your identity in, based on the way you live your life?
- Ephesians 4:21-24
- Colossians 3:1-4
- What does it look like to let the Holy Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes, practically?
- What does it mean to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of the earth”?
- How often do you live in a way that portrays this worldview? What challenges keep you from living this way?
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group in order to determine what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- What is one area of your life that you need to reorganize around Jesus in order to help him shape your identity? What steps can you take to begin this process?
- How can you view your life and actions differently this week because of your identity?
- How can the group help keep you accountable in these efforts over the course of this week?
When we live with a false sense of who we are, we cannot fully put Jesus at the center of our lives, which can be harmful. The good news that God gives us is that we are uniquely made and have different personalities, gifts, and talents, and Jesus desires for us to be with him as our true selves. Even though we are different people, we all are invited to find our identity in Jesus and base our lives around him together.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.P. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture what do you observe.
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Pray: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read, and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned.
- Day 1: Galatians 2:20
- Day 2: 1 Peter 2:9
- Day 3: 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Day 4: Philippians 3:20
- Day 5: Galatians 3:26
- Day 6: Ephesians 5:8