VFC Bible Study Worksheet 18-Jan-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – January 18, 2015
Theme: Christian Maturity

Topic: Accepting responsibility.

Main Text: Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Key Verses: Deuteronomy 30:19-20 : “Now choose life … that you may love the Lord your God …”

Introduction

We now come to specific marks of maturity. The first of those marks we will consider is the willingness to accept responsibility for being what we are.

There can be no denial of the fact that our surroundings, our upbringing, our environment, bring strong influences to bear upon us, but it is only those parts to which we respond that influence us. We do the responding. The choice is always ours. This is why two people brought up in exactly the same circumstances and situations, with the same amount of pressures, difficulties and negative influences, can turn out quite differently. One focuses on the difficulties of the past and remains dwarfed and stunted, while the other focuses on turning those difficulties into stepping stones – and goes on to grow. We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond.

The Pakistani teenage girl Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban on 9th October 2012 for campaigning for girl education but later recovered in the UK, when asked by the CNN Senior Correspondent Christiane Amanpour about the effect of the shooting on her dreams, said, “They can only shoot the body, they cannot shoot my dreams.” Victor Frankl, a survivor of Nazi’s concentration camps, while being tortured said to himself, “These people have the power to take everything away from me, but they do not have the power to control the way I respond.” He focused on trying to understand what kept some people alive when others in exactly the same circumstances gave up the will to live and died. He found the key was this – meaning and purpose. Victor Frankl built on his experience and eventually became a respected psychiatrist.

No one can actually make us angry, hateful or contemptuous; we arrive at such a state by ourselves. Note that maturity does not mean a denial or minimisation of the hurtful things we have suffered. The hurt should be acknowledged, but they must not be an excuse for what we become or fail to become. It is immature to go through life blaming all our troubles on others, and refusing to accept some responsibility for the way we are.

It is impossible for anyone to become a mature person when there has been no acceptance of responsibility for the choices they have made.


Discussion Questions:

1. Read Genesis 3:1-13. Draw parallels between the excuses given by Adam and Eve and the rationale we hear today of people’s excuses for their failings in life.

2. Read Genesis 50:15-26. Joseph said to his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good …” (v20). Share personal stories of how an intended evil plan of purpose was turned to a blessing.


Prayer:
Father, I accept my share of responsibility for what I am. Strengthen me by Your Spirit to focus on what You can do through seemingly adverse circumstances, to turn them into a testimony for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

{Partly culled from January/February 1993 edition of Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, used by permission of CWR}