Do you have a friend who is easily distracted? Like really easily. One minute you’re walking through the mall together and the next thing you know you’re by yourself because your friend got sidetracked. Or maybe there’s a little more to it than. The two of you were really close, but then they got pulled away by a new hobby, a new relationship, a new group of friends. And as you start moving in two different directions, the distance between you grows. In the same way, when we start to pursue other things more than God, without even realizing it we can move in another direction—one that leads us further away from Him. This isn’t a new problem. In fact, Paul spent a lot of time in the Bible talking to some of the earliest churches about the very same thing. As we look at what Paul has to say about chasing the wrong things, you may find yourself with a desire to turn back and pursue Him—the best thing.
Pick what you pursue.
- What are some things that create distance in your relationship with God?
- What do you typically do when you drift from God?
- Why is it hard to believe that God loves you when you drift away from Him?
God’s Judgment of Sin
2 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
Romans 2:4 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Hebrews 12:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)
God’s Discipline Proves His Love
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
- Scripture tells us that God is wonderfully kind, patient, and tolerant with us. Which of those is most difficult for you to believe?
- Why do you think God wants us to turn from our sin? (Emphasize that God wants what’s best for you, and sin is never what’s best).
- Identify some ways that you can move away from sin that’s hurting your life?
- What’s one step you can take to pursue God over the distractions around you?