Session Six: My Journey With Contempt (1 Samuel 1:1-20)
Contempt is a godless antidote to shame, and it typically shows up in two different ways – contempt for self and contempt for others. The story of Hannah is examined in Session Six as an example of how contempt works to cover our shame, deaden our longings, and distract us from the real problem of sin. Examples are given of how contempt shows itself through comparison and in avoidance of relational closeness. The antidote to contempt is Godly sorrow, gratitude, and kindness. Are you aware of your contempt? Is it typically directed toward yourself or others?
Session Seven: Relating To Others On My Journey
(1 Corinthians 13:11-13, Isaiah 50:10-11)
The goal of healing is to love God, others and ourselves from our heart. This is impossible as long as we hide behind childish ways of relating and protecting ourselves. Relational styles are built from the mortar of contempt and they are our way of making life work without God. Change happens when we see our sinful patterns, confess, and through the grace of God, make choices that reflect our repentance. What is your relational style?
Session Eight: My Journey With Sexuality
(Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 2:15-18)
The story of Adam and Eve is examined in order to understand God's design for mankind – that He created us, male and female, in His own image and it was a very good thing. Men and women, particularly those who have been abused, struggle to enjoy their sexuality. Session Eight explores what it looks like to embrace our masculinity and femininity, as well as what it means to live freely as men and women in healthy, intimate community with one another.
Session Nine: My Journey With Brokenness
(John 13:36-38, Luke 22:31-32, John 21:15-17)
We are broken people who have been wounded by sin committed against us and by us. What if the answer to our brokenness and pain was not learning to do more, but learning how to be? – Be in relationship. Be with ourselves in solitude. Be with God. This chapter explores how we can open the door to faith, hope, and love through brokenness and surrender, and how we can stand against evil instead of agreeing with it.
Session Ten: My Journey Of Returning (Luke 15:11-32)
The story of the prodigal son is unpacked to illustrate how our responses to our wounding can leave us distanced from God. No matter our method of distancing, God continually invites us back into relationship with Himself. The condition of our hearts will determine the outcome. The longing for what was lost and the hope for something better are the beginning of movement back toward the Father's heart. This session explores what it looks like to repent from our harmful choices and return to God.
Session Eleven: Disappointment On My Journey
Jesus models how to deal with people who abuse, betray and disappoint us. How do we stay in relationship with those who disappoint us? The agony of Christ in Gethsemane before going to the cross reveals Him longing to include His friends, experiencing deep distress, confronting disappointment when it occurs, trusting the Father for what was needed, grieving and embracing disappointment as He pursued the purpose of His Father – all the while keeping His longings in full view. How will I handle inevitable disappointment?
Session Twelve: My Journey Of Redemption
(Genesis 37-50, Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 2:4-7)
This last session examines the story of Joseph as a narrative on redemption. There are several places in Joseph's story where the focus shifts from what evil meant for harm to what God meant for good. These "but God" moments for Joseph invite us to look for "but God" scenes in our own lives. What did it look like for Joseph to revoke revenge, to grow in strength, to trust God, to test repentance, and to offer forgiveness? These were all places of redemption for Joseph. Are there places of redemption in your story? Can God bring meaning and purpose to your story?