Date: February 18, 2024
The Point: Faith displaces worry.
Get Into the Study
As you discuss “The Bible Meets Life” and the idea of catastrophizing, share the following from Allie Volpe:
“If you’re a person who spends even a minuscule amount of time consuming news of any kind, you may find yourself in a doom spiral: ongoing war, the upcoming presidential election, climate change, the withering of the media. It isn’t just news that can inspire despair. Life is full of anxiety-inducing interactions, high-stakes scenarios, and unavoidable conflicts that can lead to overthinking, hopelessness, and catastrophic thinking.
“Catastrophizing is a common thought pattern where you assume the worst possible scenario. If you fail a test, you might believe you’ll never get a job in the future. When the group chat is silent after you initiate plans, you jump to conclusions and take it to mean everyone hates you. Your boss says she wants to talk and you assume you’re getting fired. Catastrophic thinking escalates the most benign interactions into crises. Very often, though, these predictions do not come to fruition.”
In her online article, Vople shares tips from a variety of counselors and therapists on how to safeguard oneself from catastrophizing. While you may want to discuss with your group the merits and challenges each of these suggestions, ask you group to consider what is missing. Point out the missing element is The Point of this Bible study: Faith displaces worry.
Information for this post was gleaned from: How to stop catastrophizing, according to therapists – Vox
Study the Bible
Use the following information to encourage discussion around question #3.
For many people, losing weight is the focus each January, after passing through the holidays. But recently, as celebrities, Elon Musk, and social media influencers, began touting a new medicine as a way “to lose weight in short time frames,” the drug, Ozempic, skyrocketed in popularity. TikTok videos about this medicine have recently reached upwards of 250 million views. Originally intended to assist diabetics with insulin and blood sugar regulation, Ozempic is delivered through a weekly injection. The medicine imitates natural body functions to signal a feeling of being full. In November 2023 the FDA approved another version, and pill forms are in the works.
The popularity has, unfortunately, led to a shortage for diabetics– the original target audience. Speaking about diabetics who struggle to get access, one doctor said, “it’s been really, really terrible– patients don’t know where to turn.” Because of shortages, health officials in Canada are now advising doctors who prescribe it for weight loss to limit refills and consider other alternatives.
Beyond supply issues, new studies show that some users experience “pancreatitis, intestinal blockage, and stomach paralysis.” European regulators are also researching mental health reports of increased self-harm and suicide. Off-label use and lack of care around prescribing the medicine has also led to a problem with dosages, with the number of people reporting overdoses doubling each year for the past 3 years.
Alongside its growing popularity, there are growing problems that need to be worked out.
Say: “Ozempic is just one of thousands of weight loss trends to come and go. But the Bible gives us a picture that our bodies are ‘tents’– temporary dwelling places given to us by God– not something to obsess, emphasize, and worry about.”
Conclude by asking Question #3.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Jessica Connell wrote these Leader Extras. Jess is a homeschooling mom of 9 who has served around the world in ministry with her husband. She loves hiking, exploring, and being active in her local church in North Texas.
- What do you tend to worry about more than anything else?
- When have you anticipated a disaster that never materialized?
- When have you worried about something that turned out to be no big deal?
- What are some things that cause you to worry?
- Have you ever worried yourself sick over something that never happened?
- When have you worried about something unnecessarily?
- How might worrying become an idol in our lives?
- How does worrying reveal our priorities?
- How have you, or someone you know, overcome worry?
- What things do you worry about most often?
- What does worrying say about our faith in God?
- What are we prone to classify as a need that is really a want?
- In what circumstances of your life have you seen that God knows just what you need?
- What practices can help us replace worry with faith?
- How does our desire for instant gratification affect our ability to trust God?
- How can believers learn to place more value on eternal things instead of temporary things?
- How have you seen this connection between what we treasure and where our hearts are?
- What did Jesus mean when He said we should “seek first the Kingdom of God”?
- In your own words, what does it mean “seek his kingdom?”
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
HomeLife – That Longing Inside
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.