Welcome to week three of our new series, Making Sense Out of Life. This week’s conversation discusses three different pursuits in life and a word to the wise.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What is your favorite snow day memory?
What is something from the past week or two that you’ve been praying for that the group can encourage you in?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have a few people read aloud as you work through Ecclesiastes 2:1-24. What strikes you as new, confusing or interesting in this passage? What gets repeated?
In this passage, the writer describes chasing after meaning in a way that sounds like, “if only I had this, then I would be fulfilled.” How does the author of Ecclesiastes say he pursued pleasure?
Things aren’t much different today. What are some of the “if onlys” that people tend to chase after today? Is there something that you find yourself chasing?
The author of Ecclesiastes says these things didn’t provide ultimate meaning. Why do you think people typically don’t recognize the futility of these pursuits? What would be a way to keep our own focus on pleasure as a gift from God rather than making it a god and thinking it will fulfill us?
What does the author say about wisdom? What’s the great equalizer?
In our culture, we often elevate wisdom, higher education and the pursuit of knowledge above all other things. Why do you think this is such an easy trap to fall into? How can this be harmful?
What are some ways you have seen wisdom over-exalted in the lives of people around you? How can we value wisdom without making it an “if only I get this degree/certification, then I will be successful”?
Why does the author of Ecclesiastes begin to despair about his work? Does this still happen today?
Many of us pour our heart and soul into the things we work on or work for. The Scripture this week reminds us that what happens to our work is out of our control. How would it feel to see everything you have worked for dissolve, change entirely, or be disregarded?
What are the positives of working hard on a project or mission? What could be some of the negatives? How does what we learned this week help us attempt to balance those?
Enjoying the Gifts of God
Rather than receiving pleasure, wisdom & work as the gifts that they are, we often chase these things like an endless quest. How do we balance pursuing excellence in our lives and working hard with acknowledging where our true meaning should come from?
How does the full life Jesus offers look different than a life chasing after the things we think might fill us? How can we encourage each other in our group to remember the truth of the life Jesus offers?
This week our conversations focused on three different pursuits to ultimate meaning with a reminder to enjoy the gifts of God. Which of these paths do you tend to take? How can you encourage each other to follow the full life that Jesus offers? What’s one step you can choose to focus on this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
This January, our Invest in Others section is focusing on service. What is the next step our group needs to take to serve another family or local ministry? If it’s not on the calendar yet, take a few minutes to get it planned and have someone take ownership of making it happen.
Download a printable PDF here.