Welcome to our online Bible Study at the Women’s Bible Cafe™. We just finished reading WEEK ONE from the book “Joseph, the Journey to Forgiveness” by Melissa Spoelstra. It was interesting to pause in our reading on the story of Joseph and reflect longer about the key concepts. Sibling rivalry, jealousy, competitiveness, pride, anger and hurt are some of the feelings we examined this week. On day one in the study book we finished our lesson telling God about the hurts and pain we’re currently experiencing.
I read a few comments this week that many of you were sobbing buckets of tears the first day of your study. As we acknowledge the pain we also release feelings that clog our hearts. It’s uncomfortable in the short-run and beneficial in the long-run for our spiritual journey. Here’s my solution to those tear-filled days: Months ago I created a list of things that make me feel happy. My list includes bubble baths with candles, talking with a friend, drinking a latte, reading a book, watching a comedy… just to name a few. I carry the list inside my phone on the notes app, so it’s always with me. When I’m feeling blue I grab my list and look for an idea! This perks me up so I don’t bathe in sadness or internalize past memories of hurt. Post a comment below and let me know some of the things that make you happy too!
We can’t heal what we do not acknowledge. Many of you said that you’re taking this study to learn to forgive yourself. We’ll get there… if you complete the daily lessons, five days a week. This week we learned there are two sides to every story. You may have internalized your own hurt and responsibility while neglecting the bigger picture. The story of Joseph reminds us that many were at fault; a spark was ignited by strong emotions on both sides.
Melissa Spoelstra identifies two responses: “a victim mentality, seeing ourselves at the mercy of our pain, or a victor mentality, acknowledging the hurt while seeking God’s help in pursuing healing.” If your wounds are deep, please consider professional counseling for complete freedom and healing. A Bible study is educational and informative, however it’s not therapy.
I did a little crying too as I remembered some of my past mistakes and saw how I hurt others unintentionally. I learned this week to take responsibility for my actions and petitioned God with forgiveness prayer. I dumped my own victim mentality in a situation after realizing that I allowed someone the opportunity to make me feel bad about myself and my behavior. We were both at fault, just as Joseph and his brothers were not without blame. This week I realized I was carrying the full blame (and shame) and released it with prayer.
Move forward with me in the study and let’s grow together. Journal inside the pages of your study book, write prayers to God, and reflect on the lessons through your day. One week from today we will begin discussing WEEK TWO of the lessons you studied this first week.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Don’t worry about being a perfect Bible study girl! If you get behind, don’t quit–God is more interested in time and relationship with you than He is in a perfectly completed workbook.
Assignment For the Week
- Make sure you subscribe to our email updates so that you receive email updates each week on Monday.
- Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule. The small group schedule will also be pinned to the top of our private Facebook Group. Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one hour meeting you chose to attend. Save the group to your favorites list so you can find us each week.
- Read Week Two: Waiting to be Remembered in your study book and complete the daily lessons.
- Optional: Watch video session one if you are using the DVD set- available at Amazon
- Download Answers to the Video Session from our facebook group (Look under files tab in group)
Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below
- In our study we read about favoritism and saw the impact of Joseph’s father on the brothers. What are some of the effects of favoritism in Joseph’s family, your family, or other families, or your job? Jealousy, pride, competitiveness, or something else? Let’s discuss!
- Melissa explains that we have a choice in the posture we take when legitimate hurt comes our way (page 21). Do you tend to take a victim mentality (see yourself at the mercy of your pain) or victor mentality (acknowledge hurt and seek healing through God)? Be honest with yourself and the Holy Spirit. We’re a no-shame zone and you will not be judged or criticized for your answer.
- Melissa uses the metaphor of “wild horse emotions” fueled by jealousy, anger, greed, and hurt (page 24). Have you ever struggled to contain your wild horse emotions? What worked and didn’t work in that situation?
- Joseph had dreams and shared them with his family members. Do you think he shared the dreams to A) make them jealous, B) share a prophetic word with them, or C) to seek discernment from them? Do you have similar spiritual dreams and do you share them or keep the details locked inside your heart?
- What is a key concept that you discovered this week in your study? Were you able to develop consistency and read daily, or were you playing catch-up with the reading assignments? No shame here…we want to help you stay accountable and encourage one another.
Praying for you,