Discussion Guide May 2, 2021
ONE Message Series
Take a Look in the Mirror
“Do not merely listen to the word . . .” (James 1:22a).
How about a thought experiment to begin our study today? Clasp your hands behind your back, walk to a mirror (keeping your hands behind you!), and look closely at your reflected image. Still keeping your hands behind you, come back to your group. Tell something you saw that needed to be changed – hair fixed, lipstick refreshed, collar straightened, etc. Now tell how maddening it was to have to keep your hands behind you the whole time! [What’s the point of the experiment? If you don’t act on something you see that needs attention, the process of looking in the mirror was nothing more than a waste of your time!]
How does today’s “thought experiment” relate to the text for this study? (No. You can’t have a hint on this one!)
James has just used verse 14 (please read it aloud in your group) to explain the frightening progression of desire à deception à disobedience à death. Any idea why the counsel about looking into a mirror and doing nothing about what you see there follows immediately?
What is the “mirror” we look into as believers? How often do you think we should look at the mirror? (Compare, for example, to the frequency of putting on makeup or shaving – or just glancing at yourself when you wash your hands or pass a class storefront.)
How often do you read Scripture? How do you read it? (Through books/sections or “where your Bible falls open?” Take notes? Underline? Journal reflections on what you have read?)
There are lots of similarities between the Epistle of James and the Sermon on the Mount. How might Matthew 7:24-27 be read as a parallel text to the verses we have looked at today?
Our graduating seniors were recognized today for reaching this milestone in their lives. Please close your time together by praying for this year’s graduates – naming the ones you know personally. Specifically, pray for them to grow in their faith as they make next-step decisions about education, work, marriage, etc. Pray these words from today’s text: “Lord Jesus, help these young men and women not merely to read or listen to the Bible. Give them the faith and courage to ‘do what it says’ – to your glory and for their growth into your likeness.”