3. Questions for group discussion
(or individual reflection)
(1) Why does Dorsett refer to Lewis as a “reluctant guide” [STSP], pp. 109-118]
(2) Just before the confirmation and first communion of his goddaughter Sarah, Lewis gave her some advice:
…don’t expect … you will have all the feelings you would like to have. You may, of course: but also you may not. But don’t worry if you don’t get them. They aren’t what matter. The things that are happening to you are quite real things whether you feel as you would wish or not…
In a letter to a lady who was a recent convert to Christianity, Lewis gave similar advice:
It is quite right that you should feel that “something terrific” has happened to you...Accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean that it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be — perhaps not ever — experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.
What do you think about Lewis’s advice for Christians not to depend on their feelings? Since most people do have ups and downs in their feelings, what steps can you take to remember, especially in “down times”, that our faith is not dependent on our feelings, but on the trustworthiness of God and Holy Scripture?
(3) Toward the end of the video, Dorsett shared what he has found to be the most important spiritual food and exercises for the healthy and growing soul, some of which he learned from Lewis and some from other people:
Daily Bible reading and study of Scripture;
A balanced life of prayer;
Radical obedience to God’s commands;
Participation in the life of a healthy church
What are your thoughts on this list? Are there any items you would add? Are there any changes that you have made in your life, or would like to make, in these or other areas as a result of this study?
(4) In discussing the importance of a balanced life of prayer, Dorsett recommended the ACTS model: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Have you used this model? Do you think it is or would be helpful in having a balanced prayer life?
(5) While emphasizing the importance of confession, Dorsett stated that confession without repentance is a bad thing. He stated that anybody will confess, especially if they get caught. What is the difference between confession and repentance?