Forgiveness: resource for leading a study and group discussion

April 29, 2007 at 2:11 am 5 comments

Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

 

What does it mean to bless someone? To curse someone?

(Bless = to love them by doing good to them; to want the best for others.

Curse = to devalue others; to harm either physically, emotionally or spiritually; to wish the worst for them; to hate others.)

What do you think is God’s intention behind this command?

(God is a forgiving God; cursing others rejects their value as made in God’s image).

What do you think Jesus means when he says that we should love our enemies?

(Love is a verb; love requires action, not just thought)

 

James 3:9-10

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

 

What reasons does this passage give for not cursing others?

(Every person is made in God’s image; God gave us speech to praise Him and bless others—to encourage, build up.)

Why do you think people take offense to the Christian notion that we should bless our enemies rather than curse them?

(Their natural desire is to return hatred for hatred.)

 

Matthew 6:12-15

12 Forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

Why do you think Jesus insists that we forgive those who offend and hurt us?

(He has forgiven us. We can’t receive his forgiveness if we refuse to forgive others)

 

Can you think of any situation where forgiving and blessing others is impossible?
Let’s talk about how to forgive: can we do it just by sheer force of will? Does forgiveness happen overnight? If we’ve forgiven an offense, does that mean we’ll never have to forgive it again?

***

Group Questions:

  1. What would you say are the conditions for forgiving someone? What are some reasons to believe we should forgive others even when they aren’t sorry or don’t understand the severity of their offense?

  2. What condition does Jesus apparently attach to our willingness to forgive? Why do you think He does this?

  3. What is the difference between forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration? Can you think of a situation where you might forgive without being reconciled with a person? Or reconciled without being restored?

  4. Have you ever found it difficult to forgive someone of an offense? What made it so difficult? Were you ever able to resolve the issue or is it still open? If yes, how did you resolve it?

  5. What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with forgiving an offense? Will your advice depend on the type of offense or the number of offenses? If yes, what are some examples?

  6. Take some time to voice situations where you’re having trouble to forgive and pray about it in your group.

***

Click here for a previous article on forgiveness.

***

 

 

Entry filed under: Advice, Beliefs, Bible, Blessing, Christianity, Counseling, Discussion, Forgiveness, Hatred, Jesus, Love, Questions, Relationships, Spiritual Life.

To remember and grieve the loss of someone you love Questions for Accountability or Character-building Groups

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. V.E.G.  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    There is no need for retribution. The Virginia Tech gunman was gone for good. The truth nobody knows or cares about that the gunman was buried in a location remains a mystery to this day. There is a worst shooting in the world and the gunman was a police officer in South Korea and his parents were born in what is part of Japan.

    Reply
  • 2. V.E.G.  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I hope it will be that way until the Second Coming of Jesus and at the time the uncle of William Patrick Stuart-Houston’s bloodline will cease to exist.

    Reply
  • 3. V.E.G.  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Garrett V. Evans forgave the gunman (his last name alone is not of African origin, but took the name from landowners, and his real African name is lost.)
    Derek O’Dell forgave as well.
    Ryan Auginash did too.
    Alberto Hale Leos did.
    Brent Christopher Doonan did.
    Linda Blohm-Greer did (mother of Boston Brahmin ancestor) did.
    Jeff Nemec (Czech-American) did.
    Makai Hall
    Patrick Ireland
    Lisa Jackson
    Steven Kendle Scharf (8th cousin of X-rated actress Juanita Dale Slusher)
    Fred H. Wilson.
    Lori Oliver did as well.

    Reply
  • 4. V.E.G.  |  September 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    There is other people who forgave the gunman:
    Mark Taylor
    Dennis Wayne Blum (half-brother of James Frederick Fayard, III)

    Reply
  • 5. V.E.G.  |  September 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I hope some one should forgive the uncle of William Patrick Stuart-Houston. I hope so before the bloodline dies with them.

    Reply

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