Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below)
- Where was everyone born? How much influence has your hometown had on who you are today?
- Do you know what your name means? Give every member of the group a chance to share what their name means (or to look it up!). Is there a correlation between each person’s name meaning and their personality?
- Have you ever been stereotyped incorrectly? What happened?
As Christians, we need to engage issues of racism and prejudice whenever they threaten our culture. We, of all people, cannot judge others based on things we would not want God to judge us for.
What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?
How did the songs we sang this weekend relate to the message we heard? If you could have picked a song to set the tone for this weekend, what would it have been?
What does the word “cliques” mean to you? Why do they form?
This weekend Mike identified achievements, age, appearance and ancestry as criteria by which we wrongly judge others. Did any of those surprise you? Have you ever been judged by one of the above? Share.
What does the Bible say?
Read James 2:1-4
- What is the problem in the church James is writing to? Does this surprise you?
- Why does James say this is inappropriate? What consequences arise when this happens?
- How/where do you see this in the church today?
Read James 2:8-12
- What do you think of when you hear the word “lawbreaker?” Based on how James defines a “lawbreaker” in this passage, would James include you in the list?
- What does James say is the solution to this church’s problem of showing favoritism?
- When our worldview is determined by God’s perspective of the world, how does that change how we relate to others (even those very different from us?)
Apply the Message
This week we were given three specific ways to apply these truths to our relationships. As a group, pick (at least) one of these principles to own as a defining characteristic of your small group.
- We will let the Bible be our standard, not our heritage. Proverbs 14:12 says that there is a way that appears right, but in the end it leads to death! If we are going to make wise decisions as individuals and as a group, before sharing our opinions we will be committed to God’s opinion on a subject. As a group, we will always ask first, “what does the bible say about this?”
- We will let love be our “law.” James 2:8-9 says that loving our neighbor as much as we do ourselves is a Royal Law. If we’re not showing love first, no matter how we relate to those around us, we’re being disobedient to how God would want us to live.. Each time we as individuals or as a group are trying to understand how to best respond to a difficult person or people, we will first ask:
- “What are the things that are needed to help build up that person?”
- “How can I help, love him/her?”
- We will let mercy be our message. James 2:13 says that “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” There is certainly a place for truth in our relationships but if we always start with truth we will never be able to represent the love of God like we have been designed to. As a group, we will always encourage each other to show mercy to those who have wronged us, because God has been merciful to us. (1 John 4:19)
Tweet this: In the end we will remember, not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends –MLK Jr. #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope
Tweet this: The more we are able to love those different from us the more we have grown in our relationship with Jesus. #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope
Tweet this: When you live out what you say you believe, it’ll eliminate your tendency to show partiality –James. #UnlockingTheMusicVault @get_hope