No More Islands (Part 1): Do I Have Something in My Teeth?

#1 Listen to “No More Islands: Do I Have Something in My Teeth?”

Consider this Sunday morning’s lesson. You can listen here:

Or watch here [video will be posted by Monday each week]:

What stuck out to you as interesting?

Did you encounter any challenging or re-orienting truth?

How’d it make you feel?


#2 Back to School

In this series we're taking a look at the power of relationships to direct a life.

Princeton University biologist Iain Couzin spent years studying schools of minnows. He wrote, “By grouping together, they’re sensing the world in a different way."

How does grouping together affect the way we sense the world?

Have you ever seen the course of your life affected by your relationships? Share with the group.

Watch this video about schools of fish:

What benefit do schools of fish have in terms of evading predators?

How might this same principle be applied to our human need to evade danger/evil/temptation/recklessness/etc?

Does group living protect us? Elaborate...


#3 Friend or Foe?

Read John 15:15.

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

For Jesus, friendship was based on sharing the life-giving truth.

Are you ever hesitant to share what your friends need to hear? Why do you think that is?

Read Galatians 4: 8-16.

What's Paul saying in this passage? Try to summarize it in your own words. You might consider reading it in a more modern translation like this one (The Voice):

During the time before you knew God, you were slaves to powers that are not gods at all. But now, when you are just beginning to know the one True God—actually, He is showing how completely He knows you—how can you turn back to weak and worthless idols made by men, icons of these spiritual powers? Haven’t you endured enough bondage to these breathless idols? You are observing particular days, months, festival seasons, and years; you have me worried that I may have wasted my time laboring among you.

Brothers and sisters, I have become one of you. Now it’s your turn—become as I am. You have never wronged me. Do you remember the first time I preached the good news to you? I was sick, and I know my illness was a hardship to you, but you never drew back from me or scorned me. You cared for me as if I were a heavenly messenger of God, possibly as well as if I were the Anointed Jesus Himself! Don’t you remember?  What has happened to your joy and blessing? I tell you, the place was so thick with love that if it were possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and handed them to me.  And now, do I stand as your enemy because I tried to bless you with the truth?

What's causing the rift between Paul and the church in Galatia?

In verse 16 Paul asks, "Do I stand as your enemy because I tried to bless you with truth?"

Have you ever spoken truth to a friend and had that truth rejected (or perhaps even seen the relationship terminated)? Share.

Have you ever received hard truth from a friend and (wrongly) perceived it as injury? How would you act if you had a second chance to respond?

Why are we so bad at receiving instruction/advice/wisdom? AND Why do we struggle so much to offer it to our friends and family who clearly need it? Thoughts?

What are some ways we can train ourselves to be better at receiving helpful criticism?

  • Consider the way Nathan approached David about his transgression in 2 Samuel 12. What can we learn about how to talk to the people we love about their blind spots?

*Any stories of truth told and received well should be encouraged and warmly welcomed during this discussion.


#4 For Your Consideration

Consider the following quotes and scripture. Pick one that sticks out to you, and share your reaction. Have you experienced it to be true or false? How so?

  • "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:6
  • “The best mirror is an old friend.” George Herbert
  • “The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.” Barbara Kingsolver
  • “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” Alica Walker
  • “We always see our worst selves... We need someone else to get close enough to tell us we’re wrong.” David Levithan


#5 Who's Your Person?

Consider the video we showed on Sunday in which we asked people to write letters to someone who'd made a big impact on their lives.

Who would you have picked? (You might exclude people in the room to make identifying one person over another less awkward)

Share with your group what that person did to make a difference in your life.

Consider writing a letter of your own and calling your person to read it.