This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point.)
Like “do not steal” last week, this commandment might feel unnecessary. No respectable person would testify falsely, right? Of course not. Unless... (and then many of us can compose a variety of justifications, where something technically “false” serves a good purpose. Last week we thought about signing “slightly” false tax returns or expense reports.) To what extent would you agree with ancient Israel that maybe we should reserve honesty only for legal courtroom proceedings?
Psychologists and linguists note that sometimes it’s hard to make our questions as well as our statements direct (e.g. at times “Do you like this outfit?” may mask the real question: “Do you still love me?”). How can you, in both your questions and your answers, grow in your ability to let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no? What fears make it hardest for you to avoid evasive words and speak plainly?
God preserved the three brave Hebrew witnesses in Daniel 3 from the fiery furnace. But other bold witnesses—Jesus and the apostles Paul and Peter, as well as martyrs like Perpetua (click here to see her story and image in Resurrection’s stained-glass window)—faced earthly death for their witness. What price(s), in our relatively tolerant age, might you face to be an honest witness to Jesus? Are you willing to accept those consequences, or do you shy away from it?
Ephesians used radical language: “clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.” Those words described putting on new, clean clothes in place of ragged, dirty ones. Can you see parts of your “old self” that you and God have taken off or are in the process of taking off? In what ways is your “new person” growing more lovingly truthful? How do you want to ask God to keep you growing more honestly loving in the next six months?
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