Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Men's Fraternity Week 13

Men’s Fraternity
Week #13 Idols

Pastor Brian began our first session of the new year with this video from the Skit Guys.

Exodus 20:3
You shall have no other gods before me.

Psalm 106:36
They served their idols which became a snare to them.

1. Goals for this session:

  • Discuss some key realities that are foundational to the traps that a man faces in life.
  • Describe a framework for understanding temptations in the life of a man.
  • To help get to the root issue. The sin beneath the sin.

Questions for Discussion:
1. Many men live in both shame and guilt while hiding from those around them. Why would men abandon the “abundant life” that is available in Jesus Christ for idols that trap them in bondage? (Some examples of these idols are: workaholism, pornography and other addictions, desperate need for approval, disappointment with life or fear of failure).

2. Why would we ever choose anything other than God’s best for our lives?

2. Key Realities:

a. In order to experience ultimate freedom you must practice ruthless honesty.

2 Samuel 10:11
And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.

[Praying for others is good but you must also be willing to step in and help others in need.]

David White puts it this way: “All of us live in fear of exposure. We don’t want the worst things about us to be made known. We posture and wear masks. We establish elaborate facades and hide behind our good deeds. This refusal to be truly known and exposed keeps us stuck in our sin.”

b. There’s no such thing as a life apart from struggle and temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

c. Understand grace.

[Grace can be defined as unmerited favor granted to us by God.]

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

d. Authentic manhood is primarily about heart change.

  • The noble fight against sin and temptation is not just about behavior modification.
  • For instance, God doesn’t want us just to stop lying He wants us to love the truth!
  • Behavior modification without heart change is dangerous.

3. The Framework of Idolatry

  • An idol can be anything, even a good thing. [The idol itself is not necessarily evil. Like guns: guns are not evil, it’s what we do with them.]
  • Idolatry is built on a lie. [This will make me feel better, help me achieve my goals, etc.]
  • Idols come from legitimate desires that are being expressed in inappropriate ways.
  • Idols can be divided into two categories, or what Pastor Tim Keller calls surface idols and deep idols.

Examples of Deep Idols

  • Control

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

  • Significance

Galatians 1:10
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men. [This follows closely with my own life verse 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed rightly handling the word of truth.]

  • Comfort

Questions for Discussion:
1. The idols that we face are tempting us with relentless intensity throughout life. Which of the idols discussed above is one that is a consistent area of struggle for you? Practice “ruthless honesty” on this one!

[I volunteered that one of my most difficult idols to overcome is money: something that I think and worry about too much and that I have the most difficulty giving over to God. Another man at my table mentioned Control and it was generally agreed upon that some control is probably necessary in most situations but we also have to understand that things will not always go as planned and we need to be flexible.]

2. It has been said that we are only “as unhealthy as our secrets.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why or why not?

[A couple of the men at my table started talking about secrets and were of the opinion that some secrets are better left unsaid as bringing them to light will only cause more harm. I’m not really sure what to think about that. I think it really comes down to trust, if you’re sharing your secrets with someone you truly trust with your heart and soul then that person won’t judge you for it or be hurt by it; they will help you to rise above it.]

3. Share one or more of the idols that you would like others to be praying for your concerning. Then take a few minutes together and pray before heading out for the rest of your day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this topic really has me thinking! Here I go:

    First thought: Even the simplest things that we think to be innocent can be a false idol, a wolf in sheeps clothing so to speak, like YouTube for instance? Sure it is loaded with good stuff, but to a man struggling with some form of addiction it can be a doorway to, well, you know. No different then say an alcoholic, one drink is a no-no, it WILL lead them to, well, you know.
    JUST MY OPINION on the matter.

    a. In order to experience ultimate freedom you must practice ruthless honesty.

    Framework for idolatry? Hit the nail on the head on all points

    It has been said that we are only “as unhealthy as our secrets.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why or why not?

    AGREE wholeheartedly. To me a secret is a lie. A lie just makes room for MORE lies. If you can’t share a secret with someone you supposedly love and trust, then really there needs to be a look at what is LOVE? If you have to be secretive, your building a stairway of lies, and that can’t be good. He said it, not me, ‘we are only as unhealthy as our secrets.’ If you need to keep them, then you’re embracing lies and the path it takes you.

    I have been told that I’m honest to a fault. A fault? Can honesty be a fault?
    Truth and honesty go hand in hand. I, very bluntly tell my truth so that people will never see me as wearing a mask.

    “Oh look at her, practices one thing, preaches another.”

    I’ll take honest to a fault any day. ‘The truth hurts.’ No, it really doesn’t unless it is a secret covering a lie then found out. That is when TRUTH and HONESTY hurt the most.

    Yup…really has me thinking this one does. :)