Let’s be honest. We don’t always have the best attitude when it comes to doing the right thing. We like to be safe and comfortable and don’t like when things inconvenience us or disrupt our plans. But what might happen if we chose to step outside our bubble, released the safety net and really follow God’s Spirit, letting Him guide our heart and actions? God does not have to use us in His plan but He longs for us to trust Him and follow wherever He leads. Could it be scary and dangerous? Maybe. But is it worth it to trust the one who holds the world in His hand? Absolutely.
SELF-CONTROL: Giving Up My Way for God's Way
MEMORY VERSE: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls." PROVERBS 25:28 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Attitudinal Self-Control Means Letting God's Spirit Guide Your Heart & Actions
Esther is the only book in the bible that doesn’t specifically talk about God, but that doesn’t mean He is not working behind the scenes. His people, the Israelites, were living in exile in Persia. One of the king’s advisors, Haman, convinced the king that all the Jews were bad people and should be destroyed. But what about God’s promises to Abraham and David about descendants and a Messiah? God chose one ordinary Jewish girl, Esther, to be queen of Persia and gave her the opportunity to save her people from death. Despite the danger to herself, she chose to follow God’s way and speak up for the Jews, letting His Spirit guide her heart and actions. The Israelites were saved and God kept His promises. God’s plan never changed because He is bigger and stronger than anything that might try to mess it up.
- Read Esther 4. How did Mordecai respond to Esther’s fear and doubt? Did God need Esther? (See verse 14) Why not?
- Read Esther 7:1-6. What could Esther have asked for? How do you see Esther choose God’s way instead of her own way?
- Do you think God’s promises were ever really in danger? Was He going to win no matter what? Why do you think that?
- Even if we don’t have perfect self-control, can God still use us? What is one way you can show self-control with your attitude with your heart and actions this week.
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
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Teacher: Importance of Attitude.
At dinner this week, ask your family if they think attitude is important. Ask them to tell you why they do or don’t think it is important. Then teach them how living with a good attitude is honoring to God and life giving for us. In comparison, if we do exactly the same thing but with a bad attitude it will NOT honor God nor bring us life. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. As you do, remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small return. But the one who plants generously will get a generous return. You must each decide in your heart how much to give, but you don’t want to give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Friend: Position of Your Heart.
Take time this week to write out three lists with your family. First list all the blessings in your life. Second, list all the people you are thankful for. Lastly, list all the people that are in a hard place or maybe don’t have as much as you do. Explain that our attitude directly reflects what is going on in our hearts and minds. Talk about how there are things we can do to help position our hearts to have a good attitude. Writing those lists helps take the focus off of yourself and, instead, onto God and others, which helps put your heart in a position to have an attitude of gratefulness and love. You can tell your family that if they are ever struggling to have a good attitude that they can think back to all the things you wrote on those lists.
Counselor: How Can I Help?
As you are putting your kids to bed ask them how you could help them have an attitude that honors God. Ask them in what moments they find it hardest to have the right attitude. Come up with a way or plan to help them in those moments.
Coach: Good Reminder.
In the morning as you are getting ready, remind your family that we need God to be able to have the right attitude in any circumstance we may have during the day. Finish by praying and asking God to remind you all day of what He has done for you.
Thank God for always keeping His promises even when it seems impossible. Ask Him to help you live more by His Spirit than your own will. Thank Him for how He has uniquely gifted you, where He has placed you and the work He is calling you to do.
Next week we are continuing the month of January with the godly character trait of SELF-CONTROL. We will be learning about how mental self-control means fixing your thoughts on godly things.
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