IDENTITY - Part 3
Following on from our latest Sunday evening session on our Identity here are some notes and questions for use with you house group:
Ice breaker – What place have you been that has made the most impact on your life? (Could be holiday destination, university/school, place you met your partner…). Keep it light for now!
How I identify myself determines how I approach life – discuss what you think about this statement
Our identity is the foundation upon which our intimacy with God and the impact of our faith are built. What type of structure are we building with our lives? If we want to build ‘big people’ with big faith we need to have strong foundations which go down deep.
Growing is painful. Share some of your story with those in your group. What things have you struggled with as you have grown up in Christ?
Do an audit of yourself. Identify where your identity has been formed. What things in your history have most affected who you are? What have other people said about you in terms of your appearance, abilities or worth? What experiences have most affected you? – Things you have done, places you have been, people you have met, right or wrong decisions you have made. Finally, what has God said about you? Have you had any prophetic words spoken over you or do you have key passages of scripture that have significance in your life? What are they?
In his talk on Sunday, Mark talked about three different ways we can base our identity on the wrong things:
Am I the sort of person who always says that I must try harder to get closer to God by praying more, reading the bible more or being more ‘Christian’? The danger is that I am basing my identity on works. The impact of this type of identity is that it all depends on me. It must be my fault if I don’t feel close to God. But the truth is that it is God’s work – his ministry. The impact of our lives should be based on how good God is (all the time!) not how good we are.
Am I the sort of person who has an identity based on fear? Do I tend towards anxiety and worry easily? Do I always ask “what if?” The impact of this type of identity can often be that I am too scared to make any impact. We can become too scared to do anything, too scared to get out of the boat. But the truth is that our identity should be based on the knowledge that God tells us not to fear and that He is with us.
Or am I someone who’s identity is caught up in my brokenness? That I am not good enough. That I am broken and don’t work. The result of this is that we can hold back from being intimate with God and that we feel that we have nothing to contribute. But God sees our pain and vulnerability. He knows we are a work in progress and yet he still chooses us! Our true identity is in God and what he thinks of us and he loves us. This doesn’t change our situations or struggles or the environment we find ourselves in but it does change our approach – it brings hope for us and for others. It enables us to be thankful in all circumstances. What are you thankful for? Have you ever had a ‘kitchen table moment’ where you suddenly realised that you are thankful for something really basic like a piece of furniture and then it escalated into giving thanks for many more things?