Connection to Christ

Your Connection to Christ and Others Is the Key to Joy

Becky HarlingBy Becky Harling10 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Prioritizing Your Connection to Christ and Your Friends: Rooted Joy by Becky Harling

Author’s Introduction to the Girlfriend Gathering Bible Studies

Welcome, girlfriends! My guess is that many of you are weary. The last couple of years have been disruptive in so many ways and have left us feeling lonely, disconnected, and discouraged. But I have good news for you – rooted joy is possible! The key is a firmly grounded relationship with Christ as well as deeply connected relationships with others. We needed one another to grow spiritually and remain steadfast in our chaotic world. If your heart is longing for authentic community and true joy, this book is for you.

The vision behind the Girlfriend Gathering Bible studies started when I got together with three of my besties for a girlfriends’ weekend in beautiful Colorado. Throughout the weekend we laughed, we cried, and most importantly, we shared our hearts, read Scripture over one another, and prayed together.

My desire for you is that you would experience something similar. I’d love for you to gather with a few of your besties, dive into the Word, share authentically, and pray together. These little Bible studies are designed so that you can do them in a weekend, or you can use them as a four-week study. Whether you coordinate a weekend away or meet weekly, the point is to do this in community with friends.

Session 2
The Joy of Humility

Years ago, when I was still a college student, I memorized Philippians 2:1-11. In my opinion there is not better recipe for unity and joy in relationships. Whether in marriage, friendship with other women, relationships with coworkers, or any other relationship, humility is a golden quality. In this beautiful chapter, Paul directs our attention to the humility of Christ, challenging us to mimic His attitude.

In our culture today, humility is not a word that fills our conversations. We like to focus on what we perceive will make us look better to others. Leadership, strength, giftedness, and success are words that seem to inspire us to greatness. Humility makes us think of someone who is being used by others, who lacks backbone, and who doesn’t know how to set clear boundaries.

Jesus held a different perspective of humility. When two of His disciples were arguing over who was the greatest, Jesus had this to say: “You know that the rules of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for man (Matthew 20:25-28).” In Jesus’ kingdom, greatness is found in humility.

Showing up humble strengthens our friendships and increases our levels of joy. The woman who is arrogant is self-centered and always striving for more affirmation, attention, or achievements. Ironically, arrogance is rooted in insecurity. In contrast, the woman is humble is self-assured but able to focus on others. As a result, she experiences rooted joy. In order to understand this more completely, open your Bible to Philippians 2.


Read Philippians 2:1-11

What do you think it means to be “one in spirit”?

According to these verses, how did Jesus demonstrate humility? Do you think Jesus lacked boundaries? Why or why not?

What do you think it means that Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (v. 6)?

Jesus was self-assured. He knew who He was and why He had come. He didn’t feel the need to appease others or to agree with them on everything. He felt no pressure to prove Himself.

Jesus was fully God and fully man. How does this demonstrate humility on His part?

What was God the Father’s response to Jesus’s humility?

Look up the following verses and read them out loud. Then, as a group, discuss how Jesus’s statements about Himself demonstrate His humility.

  • Matthew 11:29
  • Mark 10:45
  • John 5:19
  • John 13:3-7

An attitude of humility will strengthen any relationship, whether it’s work related or personal. In fact, Forbes published an entire article promoting humility.  In it, the author suggested that humble people get a bad rap in the business world when really, they are confident, competent, and a bonus in the corporate world. In t his article, the business world is affirming what God has taught us through His Word. Amazing!

Read Philippians 2:12-18

How do grumbling and complaining impact how much joy you experience?

I have an acquaintance who never has anything positive to say about anything. Whenever I’ve had interactions with her, it’s one complaint after the next. Honestly, it’s very draining and a bit depressing. I would far rather hang out with those who have a positive outlook on life. I want to be clear: I’m not saying that can’t be honest when there are trials. In fact, being vulnerable and authentic with one another is vital to having strong friendships. But if you are constantly complaining and grumbling about your life circumstances, it could hinder your friendships.

“Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus – an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.”


Group Reflection: Let’s Get Real!

What does it look like to maintain unity while still disagreeing on some issues?

How have you seen humility play out in a church setting, resulting in unity? Conversely, how have you seen arrogance play out in a church setting, resulting in splintering?

What are you most likely to complain about?

What do you think is the balance between being authentic about your struggles and grumbling and complaining?

What practical reminders can you come up with as a group or help curb grumbling and complaining?

Personal Consideration

What myths have you personally believed about humility?

What are some habits you can put in place to help you become a more positive person?

When you think of positivity, who comes to mind? How can you emulate that person and cultivate a more positive outlook?



What do you feel the Lord is inviting you to do with regard to adopting an attitude of humility?


Listen to “Beautiful Jesus” by Chidima and Passion Worship.

Suggested Girlfriend Activity

In John 13, Jesus modeled humility by washing His friends’ feet (John 13:1-17). Don’t worry – I won’t ask you to wash each other’s feet! Instead, as an act of remembrance for how Jesus displayed humility, go for pedicures together. As you receive a pedicure, take a moment to think through how you can demonstrate humility in your relationships.

Prayer Time

Take a few minutes to pray together out loud as girlfriends. As God to develop within you a heart of humility.

Each chapter continues to explore its topic with:

Personal Humility Tips

Practical Suggestions to Let Go of Complaining

Additional Scripture Passages



Order your copy of Rooted Joy: Prioritizing Your Connection to Christ and Your Friends by Becky Harling