The Cycle of Fulfillment
Lets Get Started
Before you get started, designate someone to lead for the day. The leader is responsible for reading any text or instructions (or assigning people to read).
A Predictable Pattern
In some of the preivous modules, we’ve introduced the concept of defining “enough”. There is actually a very interesting and predictable cycle that people go through mentally when they choose a definition for “enough”.
PHASE 1: PEACE
Once a person’s income passes the limit that they’ve set, their priorities begin to change, often quickly. Things like overtime, travel away from family, and other sacrifices no longer seem very appealing, since the additional income will simply be given away. As a result, there is a sort of rebalancing that takes place. Commitments like faith, family, friends, and volunteering begin to rise in priority and generating income starts to become less important. This rebalancing of priorities results in a deep feeling of peace and contentment that is otherwise hard to achieve.
PHASE 2: JOY
As a person begins to give any excess income away, a new excitement for giving starts to build. It becomes easier to see all sorts of ways that God is working, and there is a growing pot of resources to join alongside the work God is doing. A
sort of positive feedback loop forms where the more they give, the more the joy of giving builds.
PHASE 3: PURPOSE
At some point, that person may even seek new opportunities to earn additional income simply to give it away. They have tasted the deep satisfaction of taking action and being used by God. However, unlike before, they are able to carefully discern which income opportunities make sense in the context of their family, faith, and other commitments.
Paul actually talks about Phase 3 in his letter to the Ephesians. He starts by encouraging the church to earn their income honestly, but goes a step further to invite them to earn more than they need in order to be able to give freely (Ephesians 4:28, ESV):
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
These phases are fairly predictable, and many have already walked through them. You can too. However, it all starts with defining “enough”, something we’ll be doing in future modules.
Interestingly, even those who have set a finish line that is higher than their current income have still been able to experience some of the early fruit of these phases – a deposit of sorts for the fruit that is to come.
Discuss as a group. What are your thoughts about these patterns that people walk through?
That's All for Now
If your group is covering additional modules today, you can move on to the next module now. If you are finished for the day, take a few minutes to pray as a group.