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A Long Obedience, pt. 4 – February 12, 2023

Pray: To open your time together.

Read: Psalms of Ascent – Read Psalm 128 aloud together

Consider: Some thoughts for your group

Christian happiness comes from somewhere different altogether. The Christian life isn’t centered around winning or getting or even earning. In fact, we’re of the belief that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. That’s when our happiness increases – when we find ourselves engaged in the beauty of cruciform living, we discover a new dimension through which to view the world.

“Too much of the world’s happiness focuses on taking from one to satisfy the other. To increase my standard of living, people in another part of the world must lower theirs. The worldwide hunger crisis that we have today is a result of that method of pursuing happiness.” – Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Group Questions:

What does “happiness” mean to you? How do you measure your happiness?

Peterson highlights a kind of engagement with happiness where one person benefits mainly at the cost of another. Have you experienced that interplay in your life? How prevalent is this cost/benefit exchange of happiness in our world?

How does the way of Jesus shape our own happiness? How does the way of Jesus shape the way we consider other people’s happiness?

Closing Prayer:

Spend some time praying for one another. For those wrestling with happiness, pray for the joy of the Lord to be their strength. For those wrestling with the happiness of their neighbors, ask for the Holy Spirit to expand our vision and capacity as a church body to love our neighbors as ourselves.