Small Group Discussion Guide
When you perceive someone has hurt you or taken advantage of you, what is your first thought?
1. Read Matthew 5:38-48
- How are Jesus’ followers to be different from the norm in their treatment of others?
- Scenario 1 (v.39), a person is publicly humiliated. Instead of seeking to get even, what does Jesus say a Jesus follower should do?
- Scenario 2 (v.40), a person is being sued for their clothes. How should a Jesus follower respond?
- Scenario 3 (v.41), an occupying Roman soldier could require anyone’s unpaid assistance. How should a Jesus follower respond?
- Scenario 4 (v.42), someone is trying to take financial advantage. How should a Jesus follower respond?
- Why do you think Jesus challenges His followers to react in these ways?
- Why is just loving the people who love you not enough?
- How does God’s example in nature help us to love others?
- Which part of Jesus’ command to love is the most difficult for you, and why?
3. Read John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:6; I Peter 2:23-24
- How did Jesus demonstrate love?
- Why would Jesus ask His followers to live this kind of love?
Pastor Bryan gave 3 key action steps toward loving an enemy:
1) Develop the capacity to forgive. 2) Recognize your own sin and shortcomings. 3) Pray
Think of a “frenemy” in your life. Do you think your biggest hang-up in loving that individual is a matter of truly forgiving them or perhaps thinking his/her sin is ‘worse’ than yours?
Starting this week, what will you do to love one of your ‘frenemies’ so they are no longer secretly your enemy but really your friend?