Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What does your heart love?

“A world view is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story/myth or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being” James Sire (The Universe Next Door, IVP)

We all have worldviews though we may not realise we do... and we might have a false or partially false one... we probably all have inconsistencies.

Looking at the world John Calvin wrote: “There is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice” And yet, from the Bible he observed, “the heart is an idol factory” People are lovers but we love the wrong things, turning created things into our gods.

CS Lewis warns, tread carefully around idols:
 “It is our painful duty to wake the world from an enchantment. The real universe is probably in many respects less poetical, certainly less tidy and unified, than they had supposed. Man’s role in it is less heroic. The danger that really hangs over him is perhaps entirely lacking in true tragic dignity. It is only in the last resort, and after all lesser poetries have been renounced and Imagination sternly subjected to intellect, that we shall be able to offer them any compensation for what we intend to take away from them. That is why in the meantime we must treat the Myth with respect. It was all (on a certain level) nonsense: but a man would be a dull dog if he could not feel the thrill and charm of it. For my own part, though I believe it no longer, I shall always enjoy it as I enjoy other myths. I shall keep my Cave-Man where I keep Balder amid Helen and the Argonauts: and there often revisit him.” (The Funeral of a Great Myth)
What's your myth? What's your idol?

 “If you really knew me you’d know that my life only has meaning if….”
[the following list was compiled by Tim Keller] 
•   I have power and influence over others” (Power)
• I am loved and respected by___” (Approval)
• I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life.” (Comfort )
• I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of _____. (Control )
• people are dependent on me and need me. (Helping)
• someone is there to protect me and keep me safe. (Dependence)
• my parents/other family members are happy, and happy with me.” (Family)
• I am completely free from obligations or responsibilities to take care of someone.” (Independence)
• I am highly productive and getting a lot done.” (Work)
• I am being recognized for my accomplishments, and I am excelling in my work.” (Achievement)
• I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom, and very nice possessions.” (Materialism)
• I am adhering to my religion’s moral codes and accomplished in its activities.” (Religion)
• this one person is in my life and happy to be there, and/or happy with me.” (Individual person)
• I feel I am totally independent of organized religion and am living by a self-made morality.” (Irreligion)
• my race and culture is ascendant and seen as superior.” (Racial/cultural)
• a particular social grouping or professional grouping or other group lets me in.” (Inner ring)
• Mr. or Ms. “Right” is in love with me.” (Relationship)
• I am hurting, in a problem; only then do I feel worthy of love or able to deal with guilt.” (Suffering)
• my political or social cause is making progress and ascending in influence or power.” (Ideology)
• I have a particular kind of look or body image.” (Image)

How does that connect with you? Does something resonate? Does it feel uncomfortable? We all have things we love. Few better ways to get to know someone than asking what makes their life worth living, when do they feel most alive... What do they love?

Discuss....  Part 1. IDOLS. Share your story. 
• What’s your idol, or the myth that enchants you?
• How did/does that show in your life? 
• How does your idol make sense to you emotionally? 
• How does your idol make sense to you intellectually? 
• Tell your story as persuasively and attractively as you can – talk about why you love your idol/myth. 

Discuss... Part 2. JESUS. Help one another. 
• How did and does Jesus confront the longings you pursue from your idol? 
• How did and does Jesus comfort the longings you pursue in your idol? 
• What does it cost you to follow Jesus? 
• How is Jesus better? 

Jesus is out to confront our idols, to put our love of them to death and through his resurrection to win us for himself, comforting our longings. He comes saying: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her… and speak tenderly to her…. Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people’ and her who was not my beloved I will call ‘beloved.'"

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