This is the topical discussion material we used for the Keats Way small group in Spring 2013. We discussed 4 types of people in our lives: under-privileged people, parents, brothers & sisters (2 studies), and significant others. It took us between 1.5 to 2 hrs for each topic.
Under-privileged people - BettyEdit
We will read Matthew 22:34-40 together to start the discussion. I won't be covering all the other verses. I will just be asking questions and have people talk. I may use the verses for summary.
Intro for the term
We will focus on "love your neighbour as yourself" for the term and looking at different groups of people and the Christian interpersonal relationships.God has commanded us to love our neighbours (Matthew 22:34-40; Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10)*Q: What does it mean to love our neighbours as ourselves?
- Q: Who is "our neighbour"?
Neighbours refer to everyone, including people we like and hate. Deut 10:17-19; Matthew 5:43-48In today's discussion, we will focus mainly on the love for under-privileged people (people in need).
- Q: Who are the under-privileged people? (Widows, orphans, homeless, sick, poor, etc)
- Q: What are we called to do? --> help them!
- look after widows and orphans (James 1:27)
- defend the oppressed (Isiah 1:17)
- do not harm them (Exodus 22:22)
- Q: What have you done? If never, why? Or what would stop you from helping them?
- Q: How should we do it?
- without a grudging heart (Deut. 15:10)
- have the love from God as we are all weak and self-righteousness (Romans 8:3-4)
- put other people's need above ours (Luke 10:25-37)
- not asking for return (Matthew 6:1-4)
- Q: What should the motivation be? What was your motivation?
- Q: How about reward in heaven (Proverbs 19:17, Luke 6:38, Luke 14:12-14)? Is that a good motivation? Doing for God (Matthew 24:31-40) vs. doing for the reward that God would give us.
- Q: Is there a group of underprivileged people that you want to help? What are the practical things you can do for them this week?
Parents - RaymondEdit
Honoring your parents/relationship with parents
I noticed that parents always discuss things like “how to deal with kids” in their fellowships (or in their social circles), but kids rarely talk about “how to deal with parents” – why?
Establish what is the “right” relationship
Q: Where would you put parents in your life (Be honest)? Why?
- Exodus 20:12 – the 5th Commandment
- Ephesians 6:1-3
Q: What does it mean to “honor” your parents?
- Exodus 21:17 – respect (punishment is death)
- 1 Timothy 5:3-4 – care for them
Many of our parents are aging. Although they may still provide for us, sooner or later we’ll be taking care of them. As long as they are in this world, we have a responsibility to them
Q: What have you done to “honor” them? Discuss
Have a good relationship with your parents
Q: do you have a good relationship with your parents? Explain & discuss
Q: What is separating you guys? What is preventing you from having a good relationship with them (if any – but I assume there should be plenty)?
- The dilemma of living with non-Christian parents (Matthew 10:35-36)
Q: are your parents Christian?
- If they are, how do you (or would you) obey and respect them?
- If not, how do you honor them while continue to obey God?
Q: what is the hardest part about dealing with your parents (Christian or not)?
Assignment: during the next 2 weeks, do something for your parents – you decide what to do, but it has to be related to honor and respect
Brothers & sisters - RaymondEdit
No relationship talk attached – just friends (or not even friends…we’ll get to that) Unless your home is in Waterloo, these are probably the people you see the most on regular basis. They are your “extended family”.
- Do you actually think of them as your brothers and sisters? Are they just “friends” like everyone else?
- Last week we talked about respect and honor your parents. Do we show the same kind of respect to our peers? How should we respect them (or do we respect them at all)?
1 John 3:15 (from Thursday’s BBS)
Unlike parents, brothers and sisters are more or less “equal” during an interaction.
- Ever had any disagreements with your fellow brothers and sisters (especially during serving)?
- Have you ever sincerely apologized (if it was your fault)? -> I personally find it much harder to apologize to someone my own age, because you tend to think he/she is no better than you
- Which is easier, forgive or apologize?
We should all be very familiar with this verse It’s impossible to agree with everyone that you deal with (and frankly, it’s not right).
- How do you deal with brothers and sisters who are clearly wrong? How to 用爱心说诚实话 (it’s such a cliché now…I’m sick of hearing it tbh) ？What does it even mean?
- Comes from Ephesians 4:15
- Where do we draw the line between love and malice? How do we know we are being honest but not exaggerating?
Brothers and sisters II - BettyEdit
Topic: Christ-centered relationship with brothers and sisters Part II
Introduction (5ish min)
We were taught to love one another during the Bible study on 1 John 4 this Thursday. Through us loving one another, people know that we are God's children (1 John 4:12, 21; John 13:35)
- Romans 13:8 continuing debt to love one another (so cute!)
Last time, we talked about speaking the truth in love and we need to have the heart that wants the best for one another even if it means to correct them. Again, in the right mind set. (Ephesians 4:15) Bible talks about some do's and don't's of interacting with brothers and sisters. such as do NOT deceive others (Leviticus 19:11, Colossians 3:9), create obstacles/stumble one another (Romans 14:13), envy (Galatians 5:26), divide (Corinthians 12:25), etc...
- Our interaction with brothers and sisters should exhibit the following characteristics: humble, gentle, kind, compassion, forgiving, hospitality, harmony, ... (Ephesians 4:2, 32, 1 Peter 5:5, Colossians 3:13, Philippians 2:3-5)
- Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) -> Paul is referring specifically to the three relationship in 5:22 - 6:9, i.e. husband & wives, children & parents, and slaves & masters. or at least husband & wives.
Love in Action
What are the ways that we can express and show our love? (聖經教導我們要對弟兄姊妹做什麼?) The things we can do can be loosely categorized into two themes:
- Grow together: Ephesians 4:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24
- Encourage each other: Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10;25
- Ephesians 4:16: When we each serve with our gift, we help to build us other parts of the body. Then, the whole body grows together. Remember Jesus is the one who fits the body together.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11: We should (continue) to encourage each other and build each other up for Christ died for us (and the end is coming)
- Hebrews 10:23-25: motivate one another to love and do good works, and encourage one another
- Hebrews 3:13: help each other to avoid sin by warning them everyday
- Share experience of growing with another Christian (either you help the other person to grow or you were helped)
- How did you learn from the other, what did you guys do, what did you/the other person learn?
- Serve one another (Jesus served us John 13:14, Galatians 5:13)
Encourage each other:
- Share experience of support/encourage another Christian (what exactly did you do or did the other person do for you)
- How does that impact both of you?
- Pray for each other (James 5:16)
As we talked about, there are loosely two themes for carrying out our love for bro&sis. From our discussion, there are basically two ways to do it: in actions and/or in words of encouragements. So:
- What are the ways that we can bear each other's burdens in actions
- What are the ways that we can encourage/support each other in words
If time permits, discuss how do we decide what to do each time? Homework
- Idea 1 - encourage/support someone
- Idea 2 - thank the person that help you grow and build you up
- Idea 3 - read Bible with someone for the following 2 weeks (i.e. trying to hit the grow together part)
- Idea 4 - what are the areas that you are not doing enough and can be improved? A practical way to do it within this 2 weeks
Aside - Importance of being around Christians and have someone to keep you accountable Some sites that I looked at:
Significant other - BettyEdit
Part I : A quick answer game
It's those ones you see on TV where each guest has a white board and 15 seconds to answer. Some of the questions are actually useful for the discussion while some are just random. All of the questions are optional and people can choose not to answer. We will look at each other's answer, but no judging. Please do let me know if any of the questions is inappropriate!#What stage are you in in terms of singleness (e.g, not interested, sure if I meet someone I like, it's complicated, in a relationship, no idea, i have the gift of singleness, other, etc)
- In your opinion, what's the most important thing in a romantic relationship? Like without this a relationship would fail.
- What's the most important character you are looking for in your significant other
- What's the most intolerable character?
- Have you thought about how your wedding would be like?
- Name one character your parent think is the most important in your significant other
- Does your parent ever talked to you about finding a significant other?
- What's the purpose of marriage in your opinion?
- What's the purpose of marriage in God's view?
- Would your dad/mom the type of significant other you are looking for?
- What do you think is the most challenging thing in a relationship/marriage?
- Do you think you have the gift of singleness?
- How would you express your love for your significant other
- Would you like God to just one day tell you who's the right person for you?
- What is the benefits/advantage of being people?
- What is the benefits/advantage of being in a relationship?
- I will try to think of more questions to ask :)
Part II: The foundation of a relationship (any relationship actually)
I'm mixing dating and being married in this part since the foundation should be God either way.
- Talk about your answers for question 2, 3, and 6. Why?
- Read Matthew 22:37 (love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind)
- If we didn't touch on this during previous discussion, how is putting God first relevant here? Love God and reconcile with God mean that we know the true form of God. We are then able to treat each other with the true love and have a God pleasing relationship. (Also, 1 John 4:19-21)
- How is this applicable? We should neglect the other person and read Bible on our own? My interpretation is that
- Talk about your answer for question 9
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 (So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”)
- How can a relationship glorify God? Thinking of YingYing sharing on the families open up their house for others. Both working hard for God. Role Model.
Part II: Make your time count!
- Talk about your answer from question 16 and 17
- How does your answer apply to your current situation? Have you utilized these benefits?
- Read 1Corithian 7:32-35. Single people can devote fully in God while married people have more distractions. What does that mean for us who are still single (In a relationship is still single)? Utilize your time and run the race to win the prize.
The triangle between God, husband, and wife (God is the most important thing in a relationship).Utilize our time for God.