MODULE 6 RESOURCES
ASSIGNMENT: Complete the Addiction Inventory, located below..
Journal your responses and return to your next meeting ready to discuss it with your discipler.
By Megan Koch
Life is not easy. Whether you feel like you’ve “had it easy” or not in life, the fact is, the world can be a hard place. Things go wrong all the time. We get hurt easily and often. Our wounds begin at a very early age. For many of us, our earliest memories are negative ones. It seems life is constantly trying to knock us down, and when it does, we reach out for something to hold us steady. The problem is, when we’re very young, very few of us know we can reach out for Jesus to hold us steady. So we do the best we can, reaching out for a false sense of security and comfort from things that can never measure up to the God we’re created to cling to.
We’re abused, ignored, or bullied when we’re young, and instead of Jesus, we reach out for approval, food, or accomplishment. We grow up with a nagging ache inside that doesn’t seem to go away, so we try to fill it with relationships, a good job, substances, or sex. Meeting Jesus doesn’t make these old, insufficient security blankets go away—but it does makes them more obvious. In light of Jesus, it’s much easier to see where we’ve fallen for comforts that can never satisfy.
Old habits die hard, but in Christ, they can die. The key is to first confront the behavior, then submit it to Christ—but don’t stop there. Behavior modification is not enough. Acknowledging unhealthy behaviors leads us to greater discipline in Christ. And it is by practicing these disciplines of freedom that we uncover the root of our issue: the real brokenness beneath the behaviors.
To that end, take inventory of your life and behaviors. It’s crucial you tap into the disciplines of Confession and Guidance as you do this task. Seek the input of your discipler and those you trust to be sure you are seeing your life rightly, and not disregarding something important. Talking about these addictions with those you trust isn’t just so you can better know what’s holding you back. In fact, it’s proven we’re more likely to overcome our obstacles when we do so alongside others who can pick us up, encourage us, and hold us accountable along the way. So go ahead—ask those closest to you if you have any unhealthy habits. None of us are as fine as we think we are. You may think you are not addicted to anything harmful, but look closely with Jesus. There is likely something there. He won’t point it out to shame you; he’ll bring it out to set you free.
It’s easy to spot our addictions, because the thought of losing them makes us feel anxious and exposed, and we all know what that feels like. We like to think we’re in control of our unhealthy habits, and we justify their presence in our lives; but the fact is, they control us. Addiction is the master, and we are the puppet. Our old, corrupted comforts are much more harmful than we realize, and they don’t just affect us; they impact everyone around us. And if we’ve never lived without the sins we savor, it’s hard to estimate how much better life could be without them.
Try to imagine it anyway. Imagine what it would be like to really be free. You’d be a new person. You’d be you. Just you, without the baggage. That’s how God made you to be. This is often referred to as your “True Self.”
You can't live a life of open-handed generosity with one hand tied behind your back. Boldly go discover where you are settling for less, pacifying your pain, or denying God the chance to heal you. Discover how much energy you waste maintaining and managing your addictions, and imagine how much more you’d have to give if those unholy habits were gone. You’d have more time, more money, and more creativity to spare to partner with God to heal the world. You really would.
If you want to be generous with what you have, you have to discover what has you. Identify your unhealthy behaviors and addictions so you can surrender them and get to the bottom of things. Start by completing this simple inventory. Journal your responses to the questions on the next page. Return to your next meeting ready to discuss them with your discipler.
ASSIGNMENT: Watch the video, Giving to Your Local Church, below. Return to your next meeting ready to discuss it with your discipler.
Giving to Your Local Church by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jake Thurston.
ASSIGNMENT: Write a generosity strategy by answering the questions in the Generosity Strategy below. It is crucial that this is something you cover in prayer, and it must be something that brings you joy. (Joy, as you will find, rises from unexpected places.)
Find that “sweet spot” where you can give obediently in a way that stretches you in your life
with God. When you do, you may realize that you are free in entirely new ways. If you feel
stuck, ask your discipler for some guidance. Share your strategy with your discipler when you’ve
By Megan Koch
It’s one thing to have good intentions, but it’s another thing to strategically think of ways to accomplish your goals!
Grab your journal or note taking app, and write out your answer to these questions as you strategize your generosity. It is crucial that this is something you cover in prayer, and it must be something that brings you joy. Joy, as you will find, rises from unexpected places—especially when it comes from giving ourselves away through generosity
1. What will you give to?
2. How much money will you give to your local? (Remember the principle on tithing)
3. How much time will you give to your local church?
4. How can you use your giftings to serve in your local church?
5. How often will you give your money, time, and talents?
6. How does all this challenge you?
7. What brings you the most joy in giving in this way?
8. What are you most passionate about, within the church and outside of it? How can you be generous towards that passion?
9. What are next steps in moving this generosity plan forward? (Examples include setting up a regular rhythm of tithing, blocking out time in a calendar for serving, or talking with your church’s pastor on how to get involved on a serving team.
Use your remaining time to discuss any significant decisions, interactions, or challenges the
disciple is facing, and what God may be up to.
ASSIGNMENT: In preparation for the next module, listen the Steve DeNeff sermon, Seen to