When private matters become a public problem.
PHILLIPIANS SG WK14a
Note to leaders: Do not feel that you have to use every question. Pick and choose as the Spirit leads you but don’t skip over the first question in the discussion from the message!
Warm Up: Name three famous family feuds? Hint: Think historical, fictional, etc.? In your opinion, what is the cause of most conflicts between people, families, nations, or races?
Background: Most of us remember the romantic comedy, “You’ve Got Mail.” As a matter of fact, most of us who own a smart phone probably think of it time to time whenever we hear that sound reminding us that we have mail of our own. But imagine how you would feel if your personal and private matters were suddenly made available for anyone and everyone to read; especially if it involved an ongoing conflict that had been allowed to build and grow. That “ding” that says “you’ve got mail” suddenly became a gong that announced, “We’ve got mail.”
Text: Phil. 4:2-9
- What is your typical response to relational and personal conflict? How does Paul advise the Philippians to deal with conflict and disagreement?
- Some people consider joy merely a feeling to be experienced. What is the connection between your ability to rejoice and your relationships with others?
- What is the most difficult aspect about going to someone who has wronged you? Is it always required, or do some problems just work themselves out over time if left alone?
- How does what you think about others affect how you feel them? How does it ultimately affect how your relationship with them? With God?
- Are denominations sinful divisions? What doctrines are significant enough to divide over? How much doctrinal unity if required to work effectively together?
From the Message:
- What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
- This morning Pastor Steve said, “Resolving conflicts is never easy. It’s hard work.” What is the hardest part of resolving conflicts for you? What part does fear play?
- What did Pastor Steve said is the goal in conflict resolution? How hard is it to keep that goal front and center when you are hurt or feel wrongly attacked?
- Pastor Steve said, “We must be willing to seek qualified assistance when necessary.” How do you know if someone is qualified to mediate a conflict? Why do people tend to turn to unqualified sources?
- Pray About It: Pastor Steve said, There can’t be a disconnect between what we say we believe and what we actually practice.
- What’s at risk if there is? How can we pray for one another in this area and hold each other accountable?
Reflect: When you are involved in a conflict, it’s hard to take that first step towards bringing peace and reconciliation. It takes humility and grace. But God, who gives us grace for all things, will enable us to make the first move toward reconciliation. Be the first to break the cycle! Remember,
There is no heavier load to carry than a chip on your shoulder.
For Personal Study: Read Psalm 133:1; Romans 12:16; 14:19; 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Peter 3:8.
- How important is it for believers in Christ to maintain unity? What can be done to promote improved relationships?
- Paul urges his readers to let their gentleness be known. Read Matthew 11:28–30; 12:15–21. To whom do these verses refer?
- Paul also exhorts the Philippians to not be anxious. Read Matthew 6:19–34. What truths can you identify as being vital for ridding ourselves of anxiety?