Small Group Questions

The giant in today’s sermon from David’s life was rejection. Prayerfully reflect upon and respond to the following questions for discussion and application.

What is an instance where you have been chosen? How did that experience impact your sense of value? Have you had the opposite encounter, where you were rejected in some way? What was the impact of that experience for you?

Pastor recounted three different occasions in the David and Goliath story where young David experienced rejection. What impressed you about David’s response to rejection? What do you think allowed him or contributed to him being able to overcome rejection?

Pastor noted that our value is not determined by others’ acceptance or rejection but by who God says you are. Suppose a friend asked you this question, “Who does God say that I am?” Where in God’s word could you turn for supporting evidence in responding to your friend?

 

Read Ephesians 1.3-7. Pastor Rick specifically referenced Ephesians 1.4, the fact that you are of enormous value to God, to the point that He’s chosen you to be adopted as one of His children. Rick stated: “You don’t have to work for acceptance from God. You can work from His acceptance of you.” How would you describe this truth to someone who was having difficulty grasping its implications?

 

Jesus. Peter. Paul. All experienced significant degrees of rejection. Pick one such incident that you recall where one of these men encountered rejection. Do you imagine that the rejection hurt? What kept them going forward, not succumbing to the self-defeating results of being rejected? What helps you to bounce back from rejection?

 

What encouragement would you offer a friend who has been hit with an experience of rejection? How might you try to mentor that friend?

 

What follows is a quote from the late Henri Nouwen. Ask someone to read it aloud. Group members are invited to discuss what, if anything, rang a bell for them. “Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, " ‘Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.’ ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved. Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”