Main Point of Discussion: Each one of us has character flaws and weaknesses that can destroy our relationships and even our lives, so we must give these areas of imperfection to God and trust him to either take them away or use them to deepen our relationships with Jesus.
The Movie Clip: Take this temper away!
Gifted Hands is an inspirational and true story covering Ben Carson’s troubled childhood through his rise to prominence in the medical field. Under the guidance and encouragement of his single mother, Ben dedicates his life to education and eventually becomes one of the leading neurosurgeons in the country. (www.wingclips.com)
Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie Gifted Hands, about Ben Carson—a man who doesn't have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home and surrounded by poverty and prejudice, his grades suffer and his temper flares. And yet his mother never loses faith in her son. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helps grow his imagination, intelligence, and belief in himself. That belief, coupled with his faith in God, would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. (www.wingclips.com)
You can view the clip here:
Just like all of us have areas of weakness and sin that seem impossible to overcome, Ben struggls with his anger and temper. The question is—what's God’s role in our lives when it comes to our deep flaws? And why does he allow defects within us in the first place?
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and what you want to do when you grow up.
- ASK A FEW: When was a time you lost your temper? What happened?
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we watched, Ben is provoked by his friend and shoved into the table…how would you have reacted?
- ASK A FEW: Did you sense that Ben really felt bad? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think God is obligated to take away our weaknesses when we ask? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Is it possible that God doesn’t remove our character flaws for a specific reason? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever experienced unanswered prayer in an area like this? If so, what happened?
Read the following passage:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT)
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I’m sure we can all relate to the scene from Gifted Hands, but my prayer is that we can start relating to the passage from the Bible that we discussed. Ben turned over his anger and temper to God, and God used him in awesome ways during his life. Christians who turn over their weaknesses to God for his glory discover incredible new possibilities in life that weren’t there before, which is why they can actually find contentment and a deeper walk with Christ in the things that used to discouraged them.
Pass out a copy of the paragraph below and ask students to prayerfully fill in the blanks with their own weaknesses or “thorns” in their flesh. After they're finished, ask those who feel comfortable to spend a few minutes sharing about what they wrote and why, then close in prayer and invite students to trust Christ for salvation.
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a ___________________,
a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about
so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my _________________,
and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT)
Close in Prayer.
Written by Lane Palmer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.