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.)
In the early years of the 20th century, many people said humanity had progressed far beyond our primitive, violent past. Then World War I began and seriously damaged that confidence in human moral progress. World War II and the Nazi genocide happened about two decades later. More recently, genocidal actions have killed tens of thousands in Rwanda and Darfur. Should it humble us to realize how much like the violent people in the primeval history in Genesis we tend to be?
What do you think makes it often feel satisfying to express contempt for people who disagree with you or are different, and tear down their reputation? Are there relationships in which you have found it possible to disagree respectfully, seeking common ground rather than “victory”? If so, how can you extend those dynamics to more of your interactions?
Jesus told the self-righteous accusers, in effect, “You need to be sinless to condemn others. If you are, step up and cast the first stone.” By Jesus' standard, do you qualify to “throw stones” at anyone else? Does anyone? (Jesus was the only sinless person in the scene. But, because he was sinless, he hadn’t come to throw stones—cf. John 3:17.) What steps can you take in your home, your office, your school, or your church to make “stone-throwing” a thing of the past?
How might death-dealing religious episodes in history (e.g. the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition) have been different if Christians had always followed “love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor”? How can you stand for truths that matter to you without doing or wishing harm to those who disagree? Do you believe Paul understood Jesus correctly, or was he too soft on “law breakers”?
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