Did your group members bestow their Works Well With Others stickers? Share with the group who you gave it to and why you did.
On Sunday Justin asked, “Do you want your relationship to survive your humanity?” To start tonight, have group members share a funny or embarrassing way they acted like a human (ie imperfectly) in a relationship. Bring on the vulnerability!
During this week’s sermon we said forgiveness is about relinquishing rights. Think of an offense someone committed against you in the past. In the moment what “right” of yours did you feel was trampled?
- Take a minute to put together a list of things we feel like we deserve in relationships.
Likely, your list will represent things good relationships strive to achieve. There’s nothing wrong with wanting these things in a relationship.
- In your experience with relationships, are these things usually achieved with absolute consistency?
- What happens though when we expect these things from others and they fail us? How do we feel?
- In those moments we have two options: forgive or don’t forgive. How does it feel to forgive? How does it feel to choose not to forgive? Share a story of a time you chose to forgive or a time you chose not to forgive.
Now think of a time you needed forgiveness. How did it feel to receive it? OR how did it feel not to receive forgiveness? What did that forgiveness or withheld forgiveness do to your relationship?
When Jesus says to forgive seventy times seven times, how does that make you feel? What makes you nervous about that?
- What can you do, practically speaking, to ensure God’s looking out for you as you step into obedient forgiveness?
Think of a relationship in which you need to offer forgiveness. What’s holding you back? Take a moment to identify the hurdles making it hard to forgive. Don’t forget; this isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s hard and holy, possible only through Christ.
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.”
Here the Apostle Paul calls us to “forgive as the Lord forgave you.” How would you describe the way the Lord forgives you? Take a moment on this question. Encourage everyone to chime in. Then move on to the following questions.
- What could you do that would exclude you from God’s forgiveness?
- Do you think God feels weak when He forgives us?
- What enables God to offer forgiveness so freely? Is that available to us or is it just for God?
What do compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love have to do with forgiveness? In what ways do these virtues enable us to practice forgiveness? Consider each virtue individually.
Do you have a person you need to forgive? Do you need forgiveness yourself? Tell your group. If you want, you can tell the group in depth about the situation. If you don’t want to share details simply share that you need prayers.
Ask the group to pray for you, that you’d have the courage and compassion to extend forgiveness or seek it.