Psalm 51:6, 139:23 | John 12:42-43

What are you thinking? 

When you look in the mirror, what thought is more likely to cross your mind: “Yep, that’s me. Kinda frizzy today” or “I hope so-and-so will think my jokes are funny and want to sit with me at lunch”? Have you ever thought about why you’re thinking what you’re thinking? 

Think about the things you’re trying to accomplish, and what you’re doing to accomplish them. What do you see? Are you being honest and forthright in your dealings with yourself and others? Are you withholding or manipulating circumstances or facts in order to get what you want? Do you want what you want because YOU want it, or because you think others want that from you? 

Freedom is found in uprightness, which means forthrightness–which means honesty. 

“But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.”

Psalm 51:6 NLT

Did you know that many Jewish leaders would not follow Jesus, even though they believed he really was God’s chosen one?

Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

John 12:42-43 NLT

John says they didn’t want to be thrown out of the synagogue. They cared more about what their friends thought than about what was true. They let Jesus be crucified because they were afraid to go against popular opinion! How do you think they felt about that afterward? How would you feel?

Ask the Lord to help you be honest with yourself about what you want and why you want it. Do you want something because it will make you look good to other people?

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Psalm 139:23 NLT

And remember what Alex said: “The freedom to be yourself and not pretend is the coolest thing out there.”

Questions for Group Discussion

  • What is something you’ve wanted for quite a while now? Have you thought about why you want it? If so, why do you want it?
  • Why would it matter that you want something to make you look cool? Can you find scripture to back up your answer?

Challenge: What Do They Want?

How do you know what people want? You ask them. 

The real challenge here is to use good judgment, but not be too judgy.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Get your best friend’s (or family member’s) All Time Wish List–their top 5-10 items. These are the things (tangible or otherwise) they would love to have, but don’t yet. Big, dreamy things, even.
  2. Ask why they want each item, and write down their answer.
  3. Put a star by anything on the list that they want because it will impress someone else.
  4. Make your own list. If you need help, ask your best friend (or family member)!
  5. Ask yourself why you want each item.
  6. Put stars by anything on your list you want because it will impress someone else.