Anxiety: Who Am I? (Jody Garner)

Posted: Anxiety, Sermons

Continuing the thought on anxiety/the disquieted soul. Getting to the root of our anxiety includes understanding who we are and why we are the way we are. John. Ch. 6, 7 , 8 are what I call the “Identity Interrogation” section. John 8:14 is the key text for most of this lesson. “I know where I came from and I know where I’m going.” It would be very important if we knew the same things.

June Discussion Guides (2 Pages)
Series: Anxiety (This discussion Guide will combine some of the main ideas from the last two sermons (5/29 & 6/5/22) and from this coming Sunday’s sermon (6/12/22))

In Numbers 13:25-33, what are the contrasting reactions we see from the 12 spies after they explore Canaan’s land for 40 days?

Do you ever feel like you have conflicting voices in your head? The faithful voice that says, “you can do this,” or the fearful voice that says “you can’t do this”? If so, can you describe a time when you’ve faced these opposing voices?

What is the # 1 most repeated command throughout by the Bible? (Hint: “do not fear”)
Why is fear so powerful?

What are you afraid of? (The other way of asking this question is: what are you running from? Or what are you avoiding?)
• “All people should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” -JAMES THURBER”

An Unquiet Mind
Key texts: Mark 12:28-34; 2 Cor. 10:5; Rom. 12:2; John 10:1-10

How would you describe being “stuck in a rut” mentally? What are some unhealthy mental pathways that we tend to get stuck in? (Examples: excessive worry; over-analyzing past conversations; exaggerated rehearsing of future conversations; anger fantasies; negative thinking; irrational thinking; etc.)

How can we love God with all of our mind? Is it possible, especially if our thought patterns tend to automatically revert to toxic thinking?

What are some practical steps we could take to begin to take those thoughts captive?
• Write down your thoughts – how would it help to see your thoughts on paper?
• Discern – Learn to question some of your more irrational thoughts – is if possible that the enemy influences some of our thinking?
• Recognize when you’re in a stuck or recurring unhealthy thought pattern – remember, “if you can name it you can tame it”
• Redirect – how can you get unstuck when you’re in a mental rut? (Ex: write down your thoughts, pray earnestly, go exercise, spend time with people and not in isolation, etc.)
• Influence – if you surround yourself with negative people, this will only feed the negativity. Who is a Christlike thinker than you can spend more time with?
• Gratitude – pray a prayer of thanksgiving every day. Cultivate a mindset of thankfulness rather than self-pity. If you’re looking for it, there is always something to be thankful for. What can you be thankful for on a daily basis?
Who Are You?
Key texts: John Ch. 7 & 8

How did Jesus’ remain calm even though everyone in the crowd was questioning his identity?

Henri Nouwen says that we all tend to believe and bounce around between three human lies about our identity: 1. I am what I have, 2. I am what I do, 3. I am what others say or think about me.

Do you ever find yourself believing one of these three lies?

Jesus does not believe the lie, “I am what others say or think about me.” If he did, he would have buckled at some point.

Read John 8:14 – “…I know where I’ve come from and I know where I am going.”
-those are two key identity markers.

Where I’ve come from:

How does your family of origin affect who you are and what you do?

What skills, hobbies, personality, sense of humor, habits, time management skills, stress management skills, the way you handle conflict, what your holiday preferences are, etc. do you have in you that you could also see in your parents, grandparents, or siblings?

Why is it important for us to know these things about ourselves?

Where I’m going:

If you can look 10 years down the road, what kind of person do you want to be? What kind of marriage do you hope to have? What kind of relationships would you like to have with your kids?

What intentional habits, practices, choices, and disciplines will you engage in now to become that person/marriage/parent/etc.?