October 10, 2021 – Pastor Mark Albrecht

Matthew 6:1-18

Series Big Idea –  When people look at you, what do they see? Many people misunderstand the Christian faith to be merely “cosmetic,” a set of outward behaviors that cover up the ugly truth beneath. the surface But when we
try to live that way, we find it is absolutely exhausting to try and maintain a perfect outer image of religiosity. Can you relate? This week we discovered how to “unlearn” the tendency of image management and how to experience the freedom of living authentically before God.

Reflect on the following sequence of questions. If you are doing this with others, share your responses with them.

LEAN IN >> Think about it.

  • What are you grateful for this week? What are you struggling with?
  • Recall a time when you found yourself trying to be or act in a way that was not 100% you. Or a time you were afraid to be yourself, so you took a pass instead. How did it turn out? How did it make you feel?

LOOK DOWN >> Read the following passages and discuss or reflect on the  the corresponding questions:

  • Read Matthew 6:1-18 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
  • Briefly retell the passage in your own words.
  • What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most?

LOOK OUT >> Connect the world of the Bible to our culture.

  • In general, when people try to manage their image in public, what sorts of pressures are they feeling?
  • Do you think people sense that same sort of pressure when it comes to “being a good Christian” or following Jesus? Why or why not?

LOOK IN >> Go straight to the heart of the matter.

  • Knowing that “God knows my secrets” and loves me all the same, how does that encourage me to be more authentic and less fake?
  • How hard or easy is it for you to be honest about your struggles or failures? Who is a person you can talk to about that? How do you allow God to grow you through your struggles and/or failures?

LIVE IT OUT >> Put it into action.

  • This week, spend time praying and examining your own heart. Where have you found yourself trying to impress vs. be yourself?
  • What would it look like to focus on IMPACT this week instead of trying to perform or impress? Can you think of a tangible way to step into that?
  • Reflect and respond to God’s prompting(s). Journal your thoughts.