Most slogans don’t tell us the whole story about a product or experience. Often the picture painted takes some liberties or is even flat-out inaccurate. People do this too—we project an image that isn’t always accurate about what we think or feel. But what if we were honest? What would we actually say? This weekend Ryan talked about how most people claim to not care what others think of them. But in reality, we really do care… a lot. Continue the conversation started this weekend as we talk about the comparison trap.
- How do you see people trying to project an image that they don’t care what people think of them? Why do you think we do this?
- Should we care what others think about us? Why or why not?
Comparison is a challenge for all of us. It certainly was for Israel’s first king, Saul. Read about his interesting rise from obscurity to ruling—and the insecurities he faced as king as he dealt with a rising young star named David. Look at 1 Samuel 9:1-2 and 1 Samuel 18:5-9.
- Do you find it interesting that the Bible points out Saul’s looks? How do you think this perception affected the way Saul grew up and approached life?
- How were David and Saul received when they returned from the war with the Philistines? Put yourself in Saul’s shoes—what feelings would be going through your head?
- Have you ever been in a similar situation where someone else (maybe a friend, co-worker, or a family member) received greater praise or more recognition than you? How did you handle your feelings?
- Is there a difference between comparison and jealousy? How would you define jealousy?
- What do you think it means that Saul “eyed” David from that moment on? Can you personally identify with this?
- Ryan said the comparison game is flawed because no one truly wins and it’s rarely accurate. Do you agree with him? Can you think of a time where the comparison game led to a bad outcome or inaccurate assumptions?
- Where are you most likely to play the comparison game right now? Why is this area such a struggle?
Now read Proverbs 4:23.
- What does it mean to “guard” your heart? Do you feel like you do a good job of guarding it?
- Ryan shared a few ways to guard your heart, including guarding what you give attention to, practicing gratitude, and being careful about what you say about others. Is there a way you want to grow in guarding your heart? Share with the group.
One of the ways we can guard our hearts is to practice gratitude. List out together what you are thankful for. (As Ryan said, this should be a long list.)