Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lesson 2: Fear of Not Mattering

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Read Chapter 2 from Fearless and we'll discuss the questions below.

Memory Verse: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Loving God, Your desire is that we would not be afraid. We also desire to live a life that is not dominated by our fears. We desire to live fearlessly! Help us to see ourselves as You see us so that we may live fully, wholly, and freely – to live guided by Your Holy Spirit. May we feel your peace, power, and presence in our lives every day. In the Strong Name of Jesus. Amen

Each of us wants to matter – whether we strive for international fame or simply desire the love and respect of those we know. And when we find we have been overlooked, forgotten, or abandoned, it hurts deeply. The truth, no matter how we feel, is that we are deeply important to God. But it’s not based on anything we do – we matter to God because we are His creation.

We fear nothingness, insignificance. We fear evaporation. We fear that in the last tabulation we make no contribution to the final sum. We fear coming and going and no one knowing. That’s why it bothers us when a friend forgets to call or a colleague takes credit for something we’ve done. They are affirming our deepest fear: no one cares.

Question #1 - Describe a time in which you’ve been hurt by feeling that you do not matter.

God reassures us, in Matthew 10:29-31, of our significance to Him. And in Luke’s Gospel Jesus goes a tender step further: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God” (12:6). One penny would buy you two sparrows. Two pennies, however, would buy you five. The merchant throws in a fifth sparrow for free. But God still remembers him.

Question #2 - Have you ever felt like a fifth sparrow – indistinct, dispensable, disposable, worthless?

Question #3 - As you reflect on these emotions, do you feel motivated to help those fifth sparrows who need reminders of God’s deep love for them?

Read aloud the letter on pages 26-27 of Fearless (about the movie Hook). God is saying the same words to you. Finding the beauty the years bury; the sparkle that time tries to take. Seeing you and loving the you he sees. “There you are. There you are!”

Question #4 - What has buried your beauty? What will it take for your sparkle to shine again?.

Know that you are God’s masterpiece. May you be assured of this today and always. Amen.


  1. 1. One time when Denny was very frustrated he gritted his teeth (very typcial reaction of frustration now since the brain injury). However, I was transferring him at the time and my arm got between his teeth!!!! Yes, he bit me...not meaning to but it happend. Needless to say, I cried. Not because it hurt so much but because Denny didn't seem to be realize or care. 2.Feeling like I do not matter....hmmmm. During the everyday craziness/busyness of being a mother and caregiver, I feel at times like my needs and wants are "last on the list". But I try not to think like that. I am important and my family and friends do value me.
    3.Love the poem of Stiltsville and the reference to Hook. What a feeling to have God's hands on my face!! With that feeling and knowledge, I try to reach out to someone every day and let them know "it' going to be fine"...'God is already there"...."hand in there".
    4.My beauty has been buried by my own thoughts of defeat and worry.....I know we aren't suppose to worry!!! God has provided for my family and I in so many ways, but I still feel like I am not "shining" like I should. I still need polished in some ways. Reading encouraging books, listening to enpowering music, and being in the quiet helps me to "shine" again.

  2. 1. Once, early on in my professional life I was reprimanded, humilitated and threatened by the head person of the district for speaking out the truth as my wife and I understood it to be. The incident gave me feelings of being alone, insecure, stupid and in fear for my job. I felt it didn't matter that I was telling the truth or that I even mattered. It was only important that I learned to be a small cog in a big wheel.
    2. As part of my insecurity issues while growing up, I always made sure to put myself in positions where I would be needed, have worth, be appreciative. But the strain and worry I put on myself to stay away from situations where I was afraid I would be made to feel worthless made it even a more difficult way to live.
    3. I have always felt strongly about not judging others, it is not my job. I have tried not to humiliate others or make fun of them in front of others. I have tried to stand up for those who are being made fun of or bullied. However, my sin is to express my opinion about them to someone else behind their back, which is just as, if not more, hurtful.
    4.My beauty has only been darkened by my own sin and my own judgment of that sin. I cannot fully accept that God can truly forgive me for all of the things I have done. My sparkle would return if I let go of the judgment and control and accept God's forgiveness fully in my heart and mind. There is nothing to fear in doing that, no strings are attached. But control is hard to give up, especially when you think you are using it to protect yourself.

  3. 1) For me there have been 2 times that still sting when I recall those times when I have ‘not mattered’ to someone whom I felt should care about me. One was a husband who had promised to love me til death due us part but less than 5 years later he was already seeking ‘love’ outside the marriage. The second time has been much more recently when my own mother told me as an adult that she wished ‘I had never been born’.
    2) Fifth sparrow-or middle child? That is where I lie in the sibling hierarchy. As a child I was quiet, obedient, and pretty much invisible at times. Thought I escaped from that by getting married - finally I would matter to someone. But that novelty soon wore off and now I was really a disposable item. Thoughts of suicide often crept into my thoughts at this time and blinded me from what was really important. Some days I hung on because I had 2 little girls who needed their mommy and other times it was through the prayers of a few good friends and God’s grace.
    3) As I was going through my difficult times I found renewal by reaching out and helping others. I volunteered at a Women’s shelter and took in a young mom and son into my home when there was no where else for them to go. But mostly I have been selfish-avoiding these hurting people because I don’t think I have anything to offer them and I don’t want to hurt again by reliving those times.
    4) Beauty is never a word I have ever used as a descriptor so I guess it is buried pretty deep. Why? What drove to such depths? Probably years of self-deprecation. It has always been easier to describe myself in relation to someone or something else--mother, wife, employee--than to seek the real person that I am. The one God made me to be. My ‘sparkle’ might come out if I could forgive myself ,cast off the burdens of the past and really accept that God does love me right here right now. But then the doubt and fear rolls in as to why would God want you….

  4. 1) Oh gosh… I remember when I left my job and started seminary. I was filling out paperwork and needed to state my occupation. It was then that it really hit me – I’m just a student? It was so bizarre to no longer have a title “Chaplain” or “Financial Analyst” or really any title. It took about a year for me to fully grasp that “yes, I’m a student!”
    2) I felt like a fifth sparrow when I lost my mother. My mother and I were very close – best friends, in fact. I felt “indistinct,” lost, and kind of like an orphan, even though my father is still alive. My role as my mother’s daughter was no longer. As I have fully grieved this loss, I no longer feel this way – praise God!
    3) I think I am drawn to fifth sparrows. Celebrate Recovery (CR) is all about ministering to fifth sparrows. We all need reminders of God’s deep, deep love for us and that’s really what CR is all about. We heal as we begin to realize and embrace how much God loves us!
    4) My “beauty” had been buried when I was struggling before my recovery journey began. Reading God’s Word, being in the community of believers, and praying for healing and restoration has brought a sparkle to my life. Journeying out of my perfectionism is also uncovering hidden beauty. I no longer feel the need to push myself to an unattainable level of “perfection,” because I realize that it doesn’t exist! Instead of being overwhelmed by things, events, circumstances, etc. that are “challenging” I look to God for serenity, courage, and wisdom.

    “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen”