As you work through this study please realize some information shared by people in your group may be sensitive and private. Make a commitment, if you haven’t done so already, to keeping the environment safe. Honor what others share, listen without judgment and maintain confidentiality. The series may help you discover areas of opportunity in your relationships. If you choose to share, keep the goal of healing and reconciliation as your reason.
Dysfunction is not new to our generation – we find it in families throughout history and throughout the Bible. Because every member of a family is a sinner, every family is unhealthy at some level. The “Genesis 50:20 principle” gives us hope that while some things in our families were “meant for evil,” God can use all of those experiences for good.
All of our relationships are impacted by sin. Most of us have experienced pain caused by our family members; yet we ourselves have been the cause, too.
What are some of the most significant wounds you have experienced through relationships with family or close friends?
How have you (intentionally or unintentionally!) wounded others in your life?
Have you experienced reconciliation in these relationships?
What does the Bible say?
Joseph’s family had dysfunction at every level – between in-laws, between spouses, between siblings, between parents and children – no relationship seemed to be free from conflict.
What kinds of dysfunction do you see in these few verses?
Between parent and child? Between brothers?
Who do you relate to most in Joseph’s family tree? Why?
What relationships in your life would you classify as “dysfunctional?” (or at least ‘less than ideal’) What has caused the relationship to be unhealthy?
How has dysfunction in your life affected you as a person?
Why were Joseph’s brothers so afraid? What did they fear that Joseph would do?
How was Joseph able to respond in the way that he did? Would you be able to respond that way in the same situation? Why or why not?
Read 2 Corinthians 4:5-18
How has God made “light shine out of darkness” in your life?
How has He used what others may have meant for evil (or what you meant for evil) for good?
How do verses 16-18 encourage you?
Redemption and reconciliation come from and through our relationship with God. He has the power to transform our hearts, lives, families and circumstances- and He promises to ultimately make all things right! (Revelation 21:5)!
Which relationships in your life right now are in the greatest need of God’s healing touch?
Pick a time each day this week to pray for God to work in your relationship. Ask Him to show you where you can begin to take steps towards health – regardless of what the other person may do. (Romans 12:9-19)
While continuing to trust in God to facilitate the change, take the step of obedience this week that He (through prayer and your small group) has shown you to do.