1. The Reformer

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’” So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”
But his father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So the party began.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. “Your brother is back,” he was told, “and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.” The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in.
His father came out and begged him, but he replied, “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!”
His father said to him, “Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”
Luke 15:17-32 NLT

1: The Reformer

Reflects God’s goodness

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness and into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT
Motivation: Being good and right
Need: To be perfect
Avoids: Criticism
Focuses On: Flaws
Core Sin: Anger
Fear: Being Flawed

Biblical truths to pursue:

For self
And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
For others *
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. *Colossians 3:13 NLT

For God *
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.” *Mark 10:18 NLT

But you, O LORD, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15 NLT


God help me not to seek perfection, but to seek you. Help me to see others the way you see them, not as perfect but as perfectly loved.

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Which brother in Jesus’ story do you identify with most? Why?
  2. Where was the good son correct? Where do you think he was wrong?
  3. How important is living right to you?
  4. How has the pursuit of perfection affected your life?
  5. How do you view yourself when when you make mistakes?
  6. How do you view others when they make mistakes?
  7. How do you handle admitting you are flawed to yourself? To others? To God?

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Sit in silence for a moment or two, focusing on your breathing. Consider a place in yourself that you feel imperfect. How does thinking about this change your feelings, your breathing or the way your body feels? How does it make you treat others? Now picture that God is sitting with you, in this flawed place in your heart, and that he loves you in the midst of your flaws. Imagine that place in you filled with God’s acceptance and love. How will this change the way that you react around others? As you move through your week and find yourself angry with yourself and others, return to this place with God, and let his love fill you.

My Notes