How We Live Love: Be Genuine

TO START

Let’s get to know your real, authentic fellow small group members. Play a game of two truths and a lie. Go around the room and have each member say three things about him or herself--two true things and one lie. Have members guess which thing is the lie.

TO DISCUSS

This week we’re talking about our sixth core behavior: Be Genuine.

  • What does it mean to be genuine? Offer a few definitions or synonyms.

  • Why would genuine-ness be an important characteristic of a follower of Christ?

  • What are the blessings of being genuine?

  • What’s hard about a commitment to be genuine?

It’s important to remember that being genuine isn’t just being real about our sin. What else is involved in being genuine?

Who do you know who’s genuine? What is it about that person that makes them genuine?

Is being genuine something you struggle with? Do you often find yourself posturing or hiding? If so, why do you think that is? What’s keeping you from practicing authenticity and integrity?

We said Sunday, “Being genuine will always enable infinitely stronger relationships than putting up a front ever will.” Why is that? How is a relationship with someone who’s genuine different from a relationship with someone who’s not?

We also said, authenticity is contagious. Share a time when you saw another person’s authenticity inspire you to be more authentic.

During the sermon we looked at a list of four things authentic people say:

“I (don’t) like this”

“Me, too.”

“I’m not where I hope to be”

“I’m not where I used to be”

  • Which one’s hardest for you to say? Why do you think that is?

  • Which one’s easiest for you to say?

  • Share a time when you said one of these things. What was the result/effect?

Being genuine requires that we act like who we are, but before we can be comfortable in our skin in front of others, we have to be comfortable with who we are internally. Ask yourself, “Am I content with who God made me to be in Christ?” Perhaps you can give group members a few minutes to make a couple lists: “Things I dislike about myself” and “Things I like about myself” (keep the lists private). Encourage group members to write over their lists, “Just as I am, God loves me.”

Is that hard to believe? That God loves you even in your current state? Why or why not? If you’re confident in God’s love for you, take a minute to inspire your fellow group members. What led you to that confidence? Share a story or a scripture.


TO READ

Read Matthew 7:15-20.

  • How does Jesus say you can know if someone is false?

  • What would it look like to apply this test for genuine-ness to our lives?

  • What kind of fruit should we be bearing?

Read John 15:1-8.

  • What’s the one thing Jesus tells us is most important to do?

  • What does it mean to “remain” in Christ?

  • What can we learn about how to be genuine from this passage?


TO PRAY

This week you might consider a prayer of confession. James 5:16 reads, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” What do you need to offer up to God so you can accept His healing? While we’re not compelled to confess all our sins to one another, the act of confession pulls sin up and out of the dark. If you’re struggling to be genuine, confession might be just the spiritual discipline you most need.