February 21, 2016
DISTINCT: LIVING ABOVE THE NORM
SESSION 5: DISTINCT IN MY REACTIONS
The Point: Practice grace and integrity when others make demands of you.
Leader Extra: Get Into the Study
- Have you ever had a quick reaction that saved someone from injury?
- How about a quick reaction that hurt someone’s feelings?
- Why do you think it’s so hard to control our reactions?
- What’s one step you can take this week to allow God to change your heart towards those with whom you struggle?
Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
Leader Extra: Study the Bible
Use this idea to supplement Matthew 5:40-42 and Question #5 (“How do we prepare ourselves now to respond well when others make demands of us?”)
Begin by sharing this news story:
On Friday night, January 8, Lazaro Nolasco was riding the New York City subway A train home to Brooklyn. The subway car Nolasco was riding was mostly empty except for two other men who appeared to be strangers to each other. As Nolasco watched the story unfold, he witnessed this scene (and he also filmed a video of it). The older of the two men was shirtless and shivering, with the nighttime temperature a chilly 45 degrees. As Nolasco watched, the younger man got up from his seat and removed his shirt. He approached the older man, offered his shirt, and helped to put it on the older man. Then he gave the man a hat and put it on his head. “The guy didn’t have a shirt on … His body looked sick,” Nolasco told the NY Daily News. All that is known of the stranger who gave the shirt off his back is that his name is “Jay.”
Say: “Jay” stepped up to give a stranger the shirt he was wearing on a cold night. The stranger did not demand the shirt – Jay gave it freely. There may be times where we need to go the extra mile, even with someone who is making demands of us. Let’s consider how we might respond in those situations.
Then read Matthew 5:40-42 aloud and Question #5.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
How do you typically handle interruptions?
What’s your favorite way to stay organized?
When have you been thankful for an interruption?
Matthew 5: 33-37
What steps can you take to build a reliable reputation?
How do empty promises and missed commitments affect our relationships?
Why is integrity of speech so essential for Christ-followers?
Matthew 5: 38-39
What limits, if any, are there to turning the other cheek?
When do we cross the line between turning the other cheek and living as a victim?
Of these three types of self-denial, which is most difficult for you?
Do acts of revenge or retaliation have a place in the life of a Christian? Why or why not?
Matthew 5: 40-42
What role does faith play in going the extra mile?
How do we prepare ourselves now to respond well when others make demands of us?
What’s a Christ-like reaction to someone who takes advantage of us?
How can you go the extra mile today?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: