9780310266020

Character : Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualities

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780310266020

  • ISBN10:

    0310266025

  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-08-01
  • Publisher: Zondervan
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Summary

There are no discount character stores.Courage. Discipline. Confidence. Patience. Endurance. Contentment. They're qualities that can take a lifetime to acquire. Qualities money can't buy. But here's good news: God says you can have them all!In Character, you will discover how firmly God is committed to forming noble qualities within you. He wants your character to deepen even more than you do-and He has the power to do something about it! If you're ready to journey toward the kind of character you've always admired, here is a path of radical, God-empowered change and growth-and a transformed, more Christlike you.Interactions-a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study. It's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ.

Table of Contents

Interactionsp. 7
Introduction: Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualitiesp. 9
Couragep. 11
Disciplinep. 19
Confidencep. 27
Patiencep. 35
Endurancep. 41
Contentmentp. 47
Leader's Notesp. 53
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Character
Copyright © 1997 by Willow Creek Association
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
ISBN-10: 0-310-26602-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26602-0
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International
Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of
Zondervan. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—
except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Interior design by Rick Devon & Michelle Espinoza
Printed in the United States of America
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book to us in care of zreview@zondervan.com. Thank you.
SESSION 1
CHARACTER
COURAGE
THE BIG PICTURE
My dad fought in World War II, so I grew up listening to war
stories. His stories about human courage in the face of fear
and struggle had a magnetic effect on me—I could not pull
away from his side when he told them.
My father was sort of an eccentric person. He once bought a
sailboat in Ireland and sailed it across the Atlantic Ocean,
enduring a five-day hurricane and facing many other challenges
on the open sea. Before he set sail he collected and read
a small library of books on sailing, so he had some idea what
he was in for. But it was still a trip to be remembered for a
lifetime.
Over the years I think I have read every book my dad collected
in anticipation of that journey. He had books about ocean
crossings, shipping disasters, the sinking of the Titanic, and all
sorts of other ocean adventures. Whenever I would get to the
part where the ship was going down and there weren’t
enough life jackets, my heart would start to race and my
throat would get dry. When some guy said bravely, “Take my
life jacket,” committing himself to the cold, shark-infested
waters of the ocean, something happened inside of me. Every
time I read an account of someone saying, “Take my seat in
the life boat. I’ll go down,” my breath would get short and my
pulse would start to race. This was real-life courage!
The truth is, anytime I hear about someone demonstrating
courage rather than cowardliness, something happens inside
of me. I find myself saying, “That’s what I want to be like. I
wish I had more of that in my life. I don’t want my life debilitated
by fear. I don’t want to live life paralyzed by worry. I
don’t want to compromise my convictions. I don’t want to
quit when I face difficult challenges. I don’t want to be a coward.
I want to be a person of courage!”
A W I D E A N G L E V I E W
1. Describe an act of courage you have witnessed.
What are some of the ordinary, day-to-day acts of courage
that people perform without ever being noticed?
A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T
2. The apostle Paul exhibits a spirit of courage and deep
commitment in this passage. What seems to drive or
motivate him to remain courageous?
How does the example of Paul challenge or move you to want
to be more courageous?
3. This passage says God does not put a spirit of “timidity”
or cowardice in His followers. Illustrate what you
think a spirit of timidity looks like in one of these areas:
• In a marriage
• In a friendship
• In the marketplace
• In raising children
S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S
Read Snapshot “Spiritual Courage”
4. Respond to this statement: Christianity is for cowards;
it is a crutch for the weak!
How did you exercise courage when you first became a follower
of Christ?
SPIRITUAL COURAGE
I want to dissect the concept of courage into smaller pieces so we can really get a look at it. We need
to examine how courage relates to different dimensions of our lives. First, I want to focus on spiritual
courage. You see, we don’t often think of courage in spiritual terms. But we have all heard the wellworn
expression, “Christianity is for weak people.” Some people think Christianity is for cowards
and crutch-users.
I’ve always been fascinated by this accusation because I have found the exact opposite to be true. I marvel at the incredible
amount of courage it takes to even become a Christian. Following Christ demands the best we have. It calls for more
than we can give. Living as a fully devoted follower of Christ takes courage on a daily basis for the rest of our lives!
5. How does living as a fully devoted follower of Christ
demand courage from you in one of the following areas:
• In your workplace
• Where you live
• In your friendships with seekers
• In your family
Read Snapshot “Moral Courage”
6. What does moral courage look like in one of these
areas:
• When it comes time to do your taxes
• When sexual temptation lurks at the door
• When you have given into a temptation and been
caught
• When you are tempted to bend the truth to avoid
conflict
MORAL COURAGE
Have you ever thought about how much moral courage it takes to operate ethically and honestly in
the marketplace? Too often we lack the courage to admit the truth. We want to please customers so we
say, “The shipment will be there Monday,” even though we know it won’t be there until Wednesday.
Christians are also called to be courageous morally when it comes to financial matters. Each year, as
we pay income tax, we see who is courageous and who is a coward. We either demonstrate moral
courage by reporting all our income, or we cave in and have to admit to being moral cowards.
And how about staying sexually pure in a sex-crazed culture? It seems to me that it takes a tremendous amount of
courage to stand by your convictions even when everyone else says you are hopelessly idealistic, old-fashioned, and a
little bit strange.
7. How and where in your life are you being pressured to
cave in morally and not exercise courage? Explain.
What support can your small group members offer you to help
you live with courage in this area of your life?
Read Snapshot “Relational Courage”
8. How have you seen courage build a healthy
relationship?
Describe a time you saw cowardice undermine and destroy a
relationship.
RELATIONAL COURAGE
When people ask me, “What does it take to build a meaningful marriage?” I am sure to say, “A good
marriage is made up of varying ingredients, but one thing I know for sure is that it takes courage.” For
a relationship to flourish in a marriage, there must be intimacy. And it takes an enormous amount of
courage to become vulnerable and self-disclosing. A coward can’t say, “This is who I am. I’m not
proud of it, but this is who I am.”


Excerpted from Character: Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualities by Bill Hybels, Hybels
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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