Are you ever tempted to play the comparison game? Whether you’re a blogger, a student, a stay-at-home mom, a retiree, or a full time working person, it’s easy to compare yourself to others and come up short. I wrote this Insecurity Bible Study for my own problem with comparison.
As you go through the insecurity Bible study, remember that both top dogs and bottom dogs have their own temptations. Neither one is spiritually superior to the other just because of their status.
It’s not our position that messes us up – it’s whether or not we find our identity and treasure in that position. The more we find our identity and treasure in Christ, the happier and more secure we’ll be.
Insecurity Bible Study
1. Read the last post on overcoming insecurity. At what points in your life did you feel like you were more of a top dog? List them. Why did you feel like a top dog?
2. At what points in your life did you feel like you were more of a bottom dog? List them. Why did you feel like a bottom dog?
3. Look over your answers to the last two questions. What is your main criteria for top dog/bottom dogness?
4. Think back to the family you were raised in. Did they think that was important as well? Explain.
5. If you’re married or in a relationship, does your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend’s family value the same things you value? If not, what do they value?
6. Think of the circle of friends you hang out with. How would they define top dogness?
7. Think of everything you’ve read in the Bible. Does God value the same things your friends, family, and you value? If not, how are His values different?
8. Could Jesus have been cultural top dog if He had wanted to be?
9. Why did Jesus give up His potential top dogness to be mocked, spit upon, scourged, and killed? (See Matthew 26:36-46, Romans 5:6-15, and Hebrews 3:15-16 for ideas.)
10. Does striving to become (or maintain) top dog ever hurt your relationship with God? Explain.
11. Does striving to become (or maintain) top dog ever get in the way of loving others well? Explain.
12. Does striving to become (or maintain) top dog ever hurt your ministry? Explain.
13. What can you learn about this subject from the following Scriptures? (Mark 10:35-45, Philippians 2:1-11, Psalm 139:13-15)
14. List several people you respect and several people you love. Do you love and respect them because they’re top dogs? If not, why do you love and respect them?
15. If you wanted to be loved and respected according to your last answer, what would you need to do? Would God be in favor of that? Why or why not?
For another Bible study on this subject see: When You’re Not Good Enough.
Question: I’ll actually be leaving for Yellowstone Park at some time today to go tent camping in 25 degree temperatures (yay!) but I’d really love to hear your answers to question #14 in the Bible study. Please share if you get a chance.
Coming soon! 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study available in August, 2013. Click here for more info.
God’s been speaking to me about these things but your questions really made me dig deeper- thank you!
Number 6 was hard for me to answer because I think many of us hide some of our ambition and pride. Some of us may not even know we have control or pride issues (or other issues).
I know for the past 4 years God has been revealing to me how I need to turn control over to Him. Each time I think I’ve made progress God peals back another layer and I’m humbled all over again. It’s been a rewarding experience to let go of so much control and rest in the God of the Universe!
I love and respect certain people because they are selfless, giving, hard working, dedicated, humble and so much more. Many of them don’t even see the great qualities they possess, it’s simply who they are.
Have fun in Yellowstone! See a bear for me.
Haha, TC – I’ll try to see a bear for you, but hopefully not up too close! I like what you said here, “Each time I think I’ve made progress God peels back another layer and I’m humbled all over again.” What I find is that I can’t even see the layer underneath until God peels off the top layer – so we are making progress – it’s just that the progress comes in layers.
Wow! Amazing how God works. Everything you mention here has to do with how God has been working with me at this season of my walk with Him.I’ve recently become aware of the “mountains and valleys”, the times and trials He takes me through to learn lessons, become ever closer to Him. One of the more recent mountains was a rather large one called humility. It’s amazing how much is encompassed within that particular mountain, including everything you mentioned here!
In my “travels” with Him I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn that what the world thinks really, truly doesn’t matter! Because He is the most important person in my life, because mySpirit and the Holy Spirit are like very best friends, to the point my Spirit cries out if I ever try to wander away from the Holy one, because I love Him more than anyone (after all, He is my Husband now, how amazing is that??) He is all that matters! And what’s really amazing is, the closer I get to Him, the more it is true!
My answer to #14, with very few exceptions (those being a few of my family members whose salvation I pray for daily) would be my Pastor, My Bible Study Leader, All those who serve as my Spiritual mentors, as well as many who are walking similar walks as me, simply working towards pleasing Him in all they say and do. That doesn’t mean any of them (us) is perfect, only that they, like me love our God and want to walk closer to Him, serving Him and the Kingdom in all we say and do.
As far as the more material aspects, there are those who have “more”, and I admit that’s something I struggle with at times, as I seem to be doing without in so many ways, and more importantly to me, so do my children, which at times strikes me as being less than “fair”. Yes, this is another of those mountains the Lord is taking me over. Sure going to be glad when we’re over this hump! ;) I am realizing, with His assistance, that I am right where I should be, right where He wants me so I can do what He needs me to do in this season. There are things I can do, even lost souls I can reach that my more “well to do” Christian siblings could not. We all have our assignments, and so long as we are doing what He would have us do, we and our jobs are equally important in His eyes. And that look of adoration from Him is all that really matters! :)
Wow, thanks for sharing that – it’s so great to hear what God is doing in your life. It sounds like you are close to Him and growing! And it also sounds like we are learning some of the same lessons. I can relate to your “sure going to be glad when I’m over this hump” remark!
That’s the way I feel with this whole insecurity and blogging issue, but I feel like I’ve already been growing a lot since I first started posting on the subject – even though I was renewing my mind about it for six months before I started writing the series! Sometimes it helps to talk things over with others. That’s what I love about small group Bible studies – you learn from each other. I’m beginning to see it can be the same way on a blog, which is kind of exciting.
Loren Pinilis says
It was really powerful when you had us thinking about how striving to be the top dog can affect how we love other people. I know too often I waste resources chasing after approval instead of what would be a benefit to others. But Jesus said the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
That was really eye-opening for me as well, Loren. I’ll have to keep asking myself that question for awhile.
Very eyeopening indeed. Thanks for yet another fantastic blog post! :)
Glad you liked it!
Karen Foster says
I love your questions. They are always convicting and eye opening.