Sermons

Yam Chien Meng - 12 August 2018

How To Be Secure Amidst Expectations

HOW TO BE SECURE AMIDST EXPECTATIONS
Text: Colossians 3:22-24
Series: Matters of Life

Often, the pressure of expectations get the best of us. We are afraid of disappointing our bosses. We lose our cool when others question our ability or commitment to the company. We are insecure when we see our peers rising faster than us on the corporate ladder. How do we move along securely even when the pressure is on?

Discussion Guide

1) Work With The Right Attitude (v22)

In your own words, describe how an insecure person usually feels, thinks and behaves at work. Give some examples. Why do you think insecure people act the way they do? Would you consider yourself a secure or insecure person at work? Why? What do you feel most and least confident about yourself?

In Col 3:22-24, Paul is addressing slaves who, of all people, should have the most reasons for suffering from insecurity and low self-esteem. In the Greco-Roman society back then, slaves had no rights - their masters had full control over their lives. But Paul teaches Christian slaves that they have newfound value as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul puts slaves and masters on equal footing when he teaches that masters share the same Master in heaven as their slaves (Col 4:1). In other words, the Heavenly Master whom we serve, not our job description or job title, determines our value. Do you agree? Why? How does serving Christ your Lord affect your sense of security?

Think of a recent experience where your boss told you to do something that made you feel pressured and/or uncomfortable. Discuss with one another in the LG whether your boss’s request is a matter of preference, convenience or conscience. Do you think you responded the right way? Why? If you could turn back the clock, what would you do again and/or what would you do differently? In cases of conscience where you may have to defy your boss because he is clearly in the wrong, how would you respectfully yet confidently stand up to him?

2) Work With The Right Motive (v23)

People can work for various motivations such as self-actualisation, promotions, rewards, recognition and fulfilment. Which of these appeals most to you? These things, while not wrong in themselves, do not bring us long-lasting security because they are not guaranteed. Being secure in all kinds of situations at work comes only when we are motivated to work for the Lord. Do you agree? Why?

Often, insecurity is tied to issues of pride, guilt and envy. For instance, out of pride we are afraid to lose 'face'. Out of guilt, we cannot hold our head up high. Out of envy, we keep doubting ourselves as we compare ourselves to others. How do you think having Christ-centered motivation will enable us to counter pride, guilt and envy at work? Reflect and share about how this could be applied into a recent issue in your work. How would your LG encourage each other to work with Christ-centred motivation?

3) Work With The Right Perspective (v24)

Imagine yourself as a first century slave who was not allowed to own property under the Roman law. How would you feel upon hearing that the Lord promises you an inheritance (Col 3:24)? In the same way, some of us may not have a high position at work and we may even see ourselves as the "lowest life form" in the company. How does the Lord's promise of an inheritance encourage us? Inheritance is not the same as wages. We have to earn our wages, but we can only receive our inheritance by grace. What does the Lord's grace mean to you? How does His grace affect your perspective on your self-worth? How would you encourage your fellow workers who may be feeling insecure?

Some of us are employers. The Bible's charge to employers is to treat their employees rightly and fairly (Col 4:1). If you are an employer, what can you do to ensure that your expectations of your staff and subordinates are right and fair? If you know that some of your employees are struggling with insecurity, what can you do to encourage them?

Reflection Questions

1) Work With The Right Attitude (v22)

Would you consider yourself a secure or insecure person at work? Why? The Heavenly Master whom we serve, not our job description or job title, determines our value. Do you agree? Why? How does serving Christ your Lord affect your sense of security?

2) Work With The Right Motive (v23)

Often, insecurity is tied to issues of pride, guilt and envy. How do you think having Christ-centered motivation will enable us to counter pride, guilt and envy at work?

3) Work With The Right Perspective (v24)

We have to earn our wages, but we can only receive our inheritance by grace. How does the Lord's grace affect your perspective on your self-worth? How would you encourage fellow workers who may be feeling insecure?

From Series: "Matters Of Life"

“Should I leave my current job?” “How can I get that kind of salary and lifestyle?” “Why do people always want something from me?”

If these thoughts ever crossed your mind, you’re not alone. 4 in 5 working adults go through ‘quarter-life-crisis’: stumbling at crossroads and questioning their worth and purpose in life.

How should we approach such ‘crises’? In this 3-part series, discover key handles that will help us take on matters of life with confidence and courage.

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