#1 Listen to “Make Peace: Go Time”
Consider this Sunday morning’s lesson. You can listen here: http://bit.ly/1gCDfNL
Or watch here [video will be posted by Monday each week]: www.vimeo.com/rrcoc
What stuck out to you as interesting?
Did you encounter any challenging or re-orienting truth?
How’d it make you feel?
This week we talked about forgiveness. What is forgiveness, exactly? Can you give an example?
What does forgiveness have to do with peace-making?
Can you think of any examples in the Bible of one person forgiving another person? What was the effect?
Do you have any experience in your own life with forgiveness as a force for peace? Have you ever forgiven someone (or been forgiven) and seen reconciliation/restoration as a result? Maybe you've witnessed peace-making via forgiveness in the life of someone close to you. Share.
Read Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Do you find this passage challenging? What does it mean? How does it affect you?
#3 Read Colossians 3:12-14
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
How do "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" inspire forgiveness?
- Why would a compassionate person forgive?
- Why would a kind person forgive?
- Why would a humble person forgive?
- Why would a gentle person forgive?
- Why would a patient person forgive?
If it helps, you might ask these questions in light of a particular scenario. Maybe your neighbor ran over your dog. Perhaps your boss lied to you about a promotion. How would the above virtues color your reaction?
Consider the following thoughts on forgiveness. Choose a favorite or two and discuss it.
- Is it true? Why or why not? (Is it always true?)
- Have you ever experienced the truth of this in your daily life? How?
"In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feel like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
"When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future."
"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love."
Bryant H. McGill
"The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world."
#5 Forgiveness Stories
This week, watch one (or more) of the following forgiveness stories with your group. After viewing, answer the question: Why does forgiveness matter?
1. Amish Shooting Victims Forgive Mother of Shooter
2. The Forgiveness Project
All the videos and stories (testimonies of people who gave and received forgiveness) on this page [http://theforgivenessproject.com/stories/] are great. Great.
You might try these:
Sue Hanisch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zehYXk1OiAk#t=14
Two mothers affected by the attack on the World Trade Center: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKVihzDHDGc