Chapter One

Click here for Scriptures

Discussion Questions

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have observed various ministers who seemed to have it all together (seemed being the key word there because we are all human). So, knowing my life did not measure up to their caliber, I would find myself comparing myself to other laypeople—those in my circle of influence—and I would come up with the idea that I was doing pretty well as a Christian. In other words, my sense of my own goodness was based largely on my knowledge of others’ badness. That gave me a false sense of security, but in the ocean that sense of security was completely obliterated. With that in mind, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a terrible Christian and 10 being a fantastic Christian, how would you rate yourself, and on what are you basing your answer?

Using that same scale of 1-10, what do you think others would say about you and why? What would God say about you and why?

In this chapter I listed several things I did or did not do which many would say are the defining marks of a Christian. What say you? Is the list bigger, smaller, or just right? Should we even have a list of dos and don’ts? Why or why not? What things do you think you should be doing as a Christian that you are not? What things do you think you should not be doing that you are?

On the beach, I prayed, “Change me. Rearrange me. Strip me down. Chasten me. Clean out all the junk. I commit myself to this no matter what it costs. I don’t care what people think of me; I only care what You think of me. Break me down and rebuild me from the ground up. Here I am. I am willing. I am ready.” Will you dare to pray that prayer? I challenge you to do so. Sin, pride, and deception had grown inside me like a cancer and I did not even know it. In essence, I climbed up on the operating table and gave God permission to cut it out. Painful, yes, but well worth it. Will you give God permission to look?

Based on today’s definition of a “Christian,” do you think Jesus would even qualify? The religious leaders of His day rejected Him. Do you think the general Christian community today would do the same? Why or why not?

How do we really love God? How do we truly love others? How do we love ourselves?

Additional Resources

For most of us, death is something we assume will occur well into the future. It never hurts to do an inventory check now. This scenario may help.

Click here for a post about swimming safety. It just might save your life.