God told Samuel in the Old Testament that people tend to look at outward appearances. We base our lives on things we can see and know. But God points us somewhere different. If we want to know why people are the way they are, why we do the things we do, and how to fix it, God directs us to look at our own hearts and then back to Him. If you find your heart broken, He is able to give a new one to any who asks.
1. Jesus identified the heart as the source of all our behavior, happiness, and contentment. How does that compare to the way most people think about and talk about their actions, the actions of others and their own circumstances? Why do you think that is?
2. Pride, greed, bitterness, and jealousy are all enemies of your heart. Which of these have you found yourself prone to in your life? Are there any in particular you are currently fighting/struggling with?
3. Hope deferred, life going in a direction we didn’t expect or don’t want, can cause our hearts to be sick. Have you ever experienced that in your own life? What happened, and if you did/have, how did you heal?
4. Serving restores a prideful heart, generosity rights greed, forgiveness cures the worst case of bitterness, celebrating others removes jealousy, and hope deferred is conquered with thankfulness for the things you have now. Which of the action steps from Pastor David do you need to put into practice or do more of?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
If you find yourself struggling with any of the enemies of your heart, decide to access God and the heart He offers you by putting one of the action steps into practice and inviting someone in your group, or your whole group, to help by holding you accountable and following up with you over the next few weeks.