Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle is a GREAT men’s study for any group of young men. These questions were put together by several Cru staff men working with Greeks. You can get the books cheap on line and it is a great study.
- Do you agree that college men are one of the most important groups in the nation? Why?
- Why is this concerning when looking at the state of their spiritual lives in college?
- What is the greatest barrier to guys at Auburn making their spiritual lives a priority?
- What do you see as the biggest danger concerning young men today – actively getting into trouble or passively doing nothing? What about in your own life?
- What separates an enemy of God from a child of God?
- How often do you think college students consider death? Why?
- Have you known someone your age or younger who has passed away? If you’re comfortable, share more about the situation.
- How should the brevity of life and the reality of death shape our priorities?
- What priorities in your life are you pushing back to consider later on? Why is this so dangerous?
- What could the consequences of this mentality mean for your life academically, financially, spiritually?
- What are some things that you would want to be true of your life at age 40? (family, career, character, etc)?
- Why are habits so important during your time in college?
- What are some good habits you are developing? What about some negative ones?
- While he says it is never too late for true repentance, why do you think he also says that late repentance is seldom true?
- What do you think of this statement, “The way you live spiritually in college will be the way you live spiritually the rest of your life.”
- In light of the statement – “Everyday you are either getting nearer to God, or further off”, has your time at college brought you closer to God, or further away?
- What are some practical ways you can make your spiritual life a priority in college?
- How do you picture the Devil? (ie – too harmless [cartoon with horns and pitch fork] or too powerful [“behind every bush”])
- How well do you feel the Devil knows your heart and weaknesses? How and where does he tempt you into sin? How can you better guard your heart against those temptations?
- How does he “dress up” sin and the pleasures of evil, while hiding from us the sting of its consequences?
- How does he misrepresent true faith in order to make you take a dislike to it, while hiding all of its rewards?
- Do you have any “scars” (ie – old physical injuries) that still cause you pain?
- Are there any mistakes you’ve made that are still causing negative consequences for you now?
- In your opinion, what causes more damage to college men, wasted time and laziness or foolish mistakes in judgment? What about in your own life?
- At the end of this section, Ryle speaks of the misery of learning in the “school of experience”. How else can we best learn wisdom?
- Why do you think pride reigns so powerfully in the heart of a young man?
- How does pride show up in your own life?
- Why do you think JC Ryle states, “The older you grow, and the more you see, the less reason you will find for being proud.”?
- What has been an experience in your life that has humbled you?
- How does the life of Christ represent humility? How does the fall of the devil / Adam represent pride? Which one does your approach to life most exemplify?
- How can we apply these forewarnings against pride and arm ourselves with Christlike humility?
- Why is the love of pleasure such a danger to college men?
- What actions that please your senses and gratify your flesh for the moment threaten to drown your thoughts and keep your minds in a constant whirl?
- In what ways have you experienced the hardening of your heart to the constant giving in of the pleasures of the flesh?
- What do you think Ryle means when he says that the body “may become a useful servant, but is always a bad master.”
- Why do we continue to cleave to earthly pleasures when time after time they prove to be unsatisfying, empty, and vain?
- Ryle says the breach of the Seventh Commandment(Adultry/Sexual Immorality) is the “young man’s sin.” He also says it is “the sin that leaves deeper scars upon the soul than any other sin man can commit.” Do you agree with these statements? Why or why not?
- Ryle closes this section with the statement, “Guard your thoughts, and there is little fear about your deeds.” Why do you think he says guarding our thoughts will keep us out of sin?
- Why do we uphold the opinion of men so highly?
- Ryle says, “Most men are like sheep, they follow a leader.” In what ways do you see college guys follow or conform to popular opinion among their peers.
- Where in our culture do you see the opinion of the day go against the Word of God?
- Ryle says, “Never be ashamed of letting men see you want to go to heaven” and “Never be afraid of doing what is right.” Why is it so hard for us to say “No!”?
- Why is the fear of men so trivial in the light of our souls and eternity?