How Not To Be Unhappy For the Rest Of Your Life (part 3): Your Story Isn't Unique

TO START

Watch this short clip about snowflakes: http://www.kcra.com/video/the-weather-channel/snowflakes-come-in-predictable-shapes/30618150

Turns out, snowflakes fall into 35 types and within those types snowflakes demonstrate a very high level of similarity. How does it make you feel to know the old adage "no two snowflakes are alike" is more truth-y than true?

Try to figure out ten things everyone in the room has in common.

 

DISCUSS

Did you grow up being told you were unique? If so, what were the benefits of believing you were exceptional? What were the downsides? If you didn't grow up that way, what might have been the benefits of believing of you were unexceptional? Downsides?

Have you ever said "You wouldn't understand"?

  • Who did you say it to and why did you think they wouldn't understand?

We said on Sunday thinking your story is unique can often lead to three destructive attitudes:

1) “Because my story is unique, I deserve to act out; the rules don’t apply to me.”

2) “Because my story is unique, the consequences experienced by others who’ve made similar choices won’t happen to me.”

3) “Because my story is unique, you don’t have any wisdom to offer me.”

  • Which of those three are you most tempted to give in to?
  • Share a time when you or someone close to you (but it would be better if it were you) leaned into one of these destructive illusions. How'd it go? What were the consequences?

Do you give other people the same breaks/passes you give yourself when it comes to obeying God's commands? If not, why not? If so, does that come from a healthy place or are you letting other people get away with things because you want the same allowance?

Have you ever been surprised to find out someone you never would have expected had a similar background/negative experience/tainted history to yours? Share with the group about what you learned in that exchange.

As we said on Sunday, we can be tempted to think we're the only ones with a story. That temptation lessens when we listen to other people's stories. What are a few things you can do more actively to put yourself into the position to hear what's going on (and has gone on) in other people's lives? What opportunities should you take advantage of? What regular habits can you pick up?

 

SCRIPTURE READING

Read Romans 3:22-24

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What do all people have in common?

  • Does this passage give others more or less authority to speak truth into your life? Discuss.

 

PRAYER

This week pray your prayer requests one at a time. When someone in the group shares something they're going through, have someone who's been through (or been close to someone who's been through) a similar thing do the praying.

 

FOR FUN

To see how much you and your group members have in common play the yarn game. Have all members stand in a circle with one member holding a skein of yarn. That member says a fact about him or her self.  Any other group member can say "I connect with that" if they have a similar experience or truth (Ex. 1: I have two sisters. 2: I can connect with that; I have a sister, too.) The first person hands the skein of yarn to that person, while still holding the end of the yarn. The yarn gets passed around the circle, each person holding onto the yarn, until you have a thick web of connection.