Chip Ingram’s Five Lies that Ruin Relationships: Wrong Beliefs Produce Wrong Behavior is a 10-part DVD teaching series built upon God’s truth as revealed in the fourth and fifth chapters of the New Testament book of James. Five Lies that Ruin Relationships is an incredibly solid, fluid, Bible-centered curriculum tailored for individuals and/or small groups. Christians interested in a critical and spiritual critique of how and why we do certain things in our relationships will absolutely love this wonderfully produced and crafted DVD series of God-honoring life lessons. This curriculum - from the DVD film segments to the workbook and group discussion questions - is as technically well done as anything I have seen to date. It also cuts to the heart with effective and affective presentations of God’s truth as it relates to our relationships. In short, Five Lies is awesome.
The Overall Structure and Flow of the Curriculum
The studies in the series are broken up into five major categories, based upon the five lies that ruin our relationships.
LIE 1: “Sensual Pleasure will Satisfy My Inner Longings for Happiness.”
LIE 2: “If Other People would Shape Up, My Life would Work Out.”
LIE 3: “Upwardly Mobile Work Opportunities are Automatically the Will of God.”
LIE 4: “My Significance and Value are Measured by the Quality and Quantity of Things I Possess.”
LIE 5: “The Grass is Greener on the Other Side of the Fence.”
The Basic Structure and Flow of Individual Lessons
The curriculum progresses across ten sessions (two sessions are spent on each lie). Each session begins with a wonderful video lesson based upon a portion of scripture from the book of James. These video segments feature Ingram at his best: as a teaching pastor standing in front of a listening congregation. Again, the quality of the video segments are superb. They are as technically well done as anything I have seen to date. The production quality soundly compliments Ingram’s top-shelf teaching. The combination results in a very, very solid experience of God’s truth as it relates to our relationships.
The workbook also includes outlines in each session for notes taken during the video teaching. The outline is very intuitive. It naturally moves participants into deeper engagement with the video segments through note taking. Interspersed occasionally in the notes sections are verses from the fourth and fifth chapter of the book of James. these verses act as challenges, guides and reminders to the participant as he/she engages the video and the notes experience. The notes will also be useful during later group discussions.
Sessions move from video segments and notes to group discussion questions. This is the point in each session where serious external and internal spiritual work will be accomplished. The discussion questions - and the nature of the subject matter itself - will undoubtedly lead to very deep, serious, and God-honoring conversations. These discussions will ultimately lead to sorrow, joy, conviction, repentance and a firm, spirit-laden, resoluteness to live as God would have us to live.
Finally, each session ends with an aptly titled summary of the content covered called “Keys.” Application - without which any curriculum or teaching series would be utterly worthless - is offered in the form of “Action Steps.” Action Steps are delivered to participants in the form of a very, very challenging combination of deep personal queries and action-based imperatives. Steps for an individual “At Home” spiritual exercise are given in each session’s final closing, as is a verse or two from James for internalization through memorization.
This summary and review does not do justice to the quality and content of this particular DVD-based teaching series. The ten sessions of Five Lies will definitely take you and your group to new and God-honoring places in relationships. The curriculum description found on the back cover of the DVD and Workbook case contains this sentence: “There is power in knowing and applying God’s truth when confronted with these lies and discovering the freedom he longs for us to enjoy in our relationships.” Amen.
Note: I was sent a courtesy copy of Five Lies by the publisher, specifically for review on this blog.