Welcome to week seven of “Pursue the Intentional Life”
This week you will need to read:
Chapters 25-28 (p. 155-176)
If you’ve fallen behind, that’s okay! Don’t worry about trying to catch up. Instead, just jump in and start again with these chapters!
The key verse(s) for you to memorize and/or meditate on this week are:
Discussion questions for this week will include:
In chapter 25, Jean speaks to those moments of serious failure that many (likely, all) of us will experience at some point in life. Though we sin often, these are the moments of sin that feel so uniquely heavy, so weighty, that they leave a heaviness, a “lump” (as Jean calls it) that lingers long after you’ve confessed and repented of that sin. Could you relate to this idea at all? Have you experienced failure like this in a way that led to the “excessive sorrow” that she mentions? If you’re willing, would you share with your group what this has looked like for you? (You can choose to speak about the experience of wrestling with the ongoing sorrow over confessed sin without naming the actual sin, if that helps you speak more freely about this. Or if you’re willing and able, you can also feel free to name the sin as you share.)
Chapter 26 speaks to many of the themes we explored more fully in our last book, “Calm My Anxious Heart” as she talks about embracing the “cup” that God has for each of us. How would you describe your current “cup”? In other words, what are the significant difficulties and blessings that your life holds at the moment? What are the “boundary lines” or “lot” of your life at this time? What perspective does Jean encourage you to have in relation to your “cup”?
In chapter 27, the author speaks to the reality that the longer we live, the more likely we will have reason to feel weary, the more likely we are to be hurt by others, and the more opportunities there will be for resentment to take root in our hearts. In this chapter, Jean offers a variety of insights and exhortations for engaging this reality in a way that will lead us to growing sweeter rather than bitter along the way. Which ones resonated with you most?
In chapter 28, Jean says, “All of us will live with losses…They will become what we make of them.” Think of a loss in your life. How have you responded to this loss? How has this loss shaped your life? How has it shaped your view of God, yourself, and others?
Read Psalm 16:5-6. (Even better, look at the whole chapter–it’s short!) David’s life was filled with a mix of significant blessing and significant hardship. He was a man after God’s own heart, and yet he also made some horrible choices that led him to breaking God’s commands in ways that had far-reaching consequences in his life. How is it that David could say “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places”? How do these verses connect to this week’s chapters? What encouragement do you find in this passage?
Before you get started, please watch this six-minute video: