Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below)
- What is your favorite article of clothing?
- Choosing forgiveness over anger is not a popular thing in our culture! See if the group can think of 10 celebrated figures –actors, politicians, athletes, etc.– who have publicly forgiven someone. (If that’s too hard, can you come up with five?)
Someone cuts you off when you’re driving. A coworker makes an unkind remark. You’re on your way to being late — again. Be honest, what’s your response? In an age where everyone has a bullhorn, maybe there’s another way.
What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?
How did the songs we sang this weekend relate to the message we heard?
Most of us will fall into one of two categories when discussing the idea of forgiveness; either we will feel really cold or really hot about it. Either a specific strained (or broken!) relationship immediately comes to mind or we can’t think of any relationship where there is a need for reconciliation.
- What makes some things harder to forgive than others?
- Have you ever witnessed how one individual’s forgiveness (or lack of forgiveness) can have a ripple effect throughout a broader family or community?
- Is it ever appropriate to be angry?
Nelson Mandela famously said that “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” What does the amount of time a person has been angry over something reveal about them?
What does the Bible say?
Read Matthew 18:21-34
- Why is the man who has his debt of “ten thousand talents” called a “wicked servant?” What makes him so wicked?
- How does Jesus’ parable answer Peter’s original question?
- In years past, some thought Jesus was teaching against Christians loaning money to other Christians. Is that the “timeless truth” Jesus is teaching here? If you don’t think money is the main point, write (in one sentence) what is the “timeless truth” from this passage. Compare your answer with the others in the group.
- What is the group consensus with regard to what Jesus is speaking about? Our actions, our attitudes or both?
Read Colossians 3:12-14
- What does it mean to “clothe yourself” with an attitude? Does everyone get to see these “clothes” or only some people?
- Have you ever thought about our actions “grieving” the Lord? (Compare Ephesians 4:30!) What is the difference in God being “grieved” and God being “angry?”
- How does love affect a response of “anger” or “grief?”
Apply the Message
- Both Paul and Jesus encourage us to remember how God feels about us before we validate our feelings towards others. Tonight as a group, let each member write out Colossians 3:12-14 on note cards, a sticky note, etc. and post it near where you store your clothes (a closet, a drawer, etc.) as a visual reminder to “put on” the love God has given you before you relate to others. As soon as you get home share a picture with the group of where you posted it! (text, groupme, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc)
- This week a lot was said about the danger of harboring bitterness; for the individual and for his or her closest relationships. God is so committed to his love for us that he gave his Son so the relationship could be restored. If there is even one person that you would feel awkward worshiping alongside at a weekend service, there’s a good chance that there is something that needs to be released or forgiven! Share with another member of the group at least the first name of a person you are committed to forgiving today.
Tweet this: Just because the scenery has changed, it doesn’t mean the hurt has healed. #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope
Tweet this: We often assume that forgiveness is for the benefit of the offender. #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope
Tweet this: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies” -Nelson Mandela #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope