This week we’re talking about love and fear. To get going, brainstorm a list of movies in which one character has to do something brave on the behalf of someone they love. See how long it takes you to get 30 titles.
According to John, fear and love are repellent or mutually exclusive. They can’t exist together. Does that surprise you? Why or why not?
What is it about love that casts out fear? Think of a time you were afraid but a loving act from another person helped you be brave--maybe a parent or teacher. Tell that story to the group.
In what ways does God’s love help us feel safe? Safe from what?
Have you ever let fear get in the way of you acting in love? Share an example with the group.
When have you seen love inspire bravery? Share with the group.
Think of the most “famous” Christians in history. Here’s a list to get you started:
- The Apostle Peter
- The Apostle Paul
- Martin Luther
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Mother Theresa
- Corrie Ten Boom
- Harriet Tubman
Give an example of a time bravery motivated them to act in love.
Look at your life for a minute. Are you called upon to be brave on a regular basis? If so, what are you doing right now that requires bravery motivated by love? Share with your group.
If you find yourself struggling to think of something, consider that maybe you’re not loving like you should. Do you think that’s the case? Is it possible?
Here’s a list of scary, love-prompted risks God might be calling you to take. Consider the list and identify one (or add one of your own) that seems just for you. If you’re willing, share your choice with your group and ask them to hold you accountable.
- Adopt an orphan.
- Make regular, weekly visits to sit with a widow or elderly person.
- Give an uncomfortable amount of money to a struggling family at church.
- Talk to a homeless person for ten minutes. And buy her lunch.
- Become a missionary.
- Quit your job and find something else that would allow you to be a better parent to your kids.
- Ask your child or spouse for forgiveness.
- Forgive someone you don’t want to forgive.
- Talk to your far-from-God family members about Jesus.
- Double your weekly contribution.
- Move outside the Bible belt and join a struggling church as active members.
- Start a non-profit, charity, school, business, or movement rooted in the love of Christ.
- Go to Sunday morning Bible class for the first time.
- Adopt a teacher or mentor at Voit Elementary School.
- Volunteer to be a small group leader.
- Pray out loud with a friend who isn’t a Christian.
- Pay for one of our teenagers at Round Rock to go to Peru this spring. Foot the entire bill.
- Go to a nursing home and read the Bible to someone who can’t read it for herself.
Read I Corinthians 13:4-7.
- Which characteristics of love do you think are the most risky? How so?
After your group members have identified one way they’d like to be brave in love, go around the room praying for each person’s sustained courage in the path they’re considering.
FOR FUN AND KNOWLEDGE
You totally HAVE TO WATCH this video of the top 10 bravest moments in Disney movie history. Watch until the end (about 10 minutes) and then discuss what each moment had in common with the others.