WEEK 1: The Real You
OVERVIEW & SETUP
The truth is…we all wear masks.
Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves where they felt most vulnerable so God wouldn’t see it.
REVIEW: Genesis 3:7-10
"7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Adam and Eve were both afraid of what God would say because they disobeyed him and what he would think if he saw them naked (where they were vulnerable.)
Being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
- In what ways or places (not physically like Adam and Eve) do students today feel vulnerable to being attacked by other students? Examples: Physically (in terms of looks/appearance?) Athletically? Rich/poor?
- In what ways might students feel vulnerable with God? Examples: Guilt from sin? Shame because of past mistakes or ongoing struggles? Not doing enough to be a ‘good Christian’?
REVIEW: THE 5 MASKS
- The Performer: We want people to see what we can do…and not at who we really are or what we’re not good at.
- The Iron Man: The tough guy and Wonder Woman. You have to put on a brave/courageous face when hurting.
- The Clown: Do things that make people laugh…so they don’t laugh AT the real me. Hide behind your sarcasm/wit.
- The Masquerade: Hide behind 'things'—clothes, shoes, the makeup, the best selfie angles and Instagram filters.
- The Mean Mug: No expression. Full of anger, rage, unforgiveness when hurt by someone.
Which of these masks is most tempting for you to wear?
EXPLAIN: Jesus sees us for who we really are at this very moment—even if we’re wearing a mask. He still died for us knowing we weren’t going to be perfect. He still wants to bless us and use us to reach our lost, hurting, and broken friends and family. But we won’t reach that potential if we’re trying to hide who we really are…good or bad.
REVIEW: THE BEATITUDES (Matthew 5:3-10 MSG)
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Which of these characteristics Jesus describes in Matthew 5 is the hardest to be right now?
While we don’t always live up to these characteristics, this is not a list of goals for to us try and attain. Jesus wants to bless us…but only the ‘real’ version of us and we already have everything we need to live the way Jesus is describing. The hardest part is overcoming the fear to just be honest with ourselves and with God and resist the temptation to continue hiding behind a mask.
Encourage your student to continue identifying the places they feel vulnerable, the masks they wear, and how they can overcome their fear
- Pray for the hurts and/or areas your students shared are most difficult for them.
- Pray for the courage they need to be honest with themselves and God about they really are the masks they wear.
- Pray for courage to live as the ‘real’ people God created them to be and for the influence that can have on their friends and family.