Date: February 27, 2022
The Pitfall of Guilt and Grudges
The Point: We can only move forward when we embrace God’s forgiveness.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
In late December, Jeremy Pascal was skiing with friends in Olympic Valley, California, when he got stuck in the snow. Pascal was attempting a ski trick when he landed head first, buried in deep snow. He was stuck and unable to breathe. Pascal tried blowing a hole in the snow, to help himself breathe. “But that didn’t work,” he said. “So then I thought after like 20 seconds, I thought, all right, just chill out. Don’t use energy, so don’t breathe as much.” Thankfully, Pascal’s two friends who were nearby scrambled to action and quickly dug him out of the snow. Snow immersion suffocation can be a real danger, especially in deep snow conditions.
Say: Jeremy Pascal was literally stuck, head first, in deep snow. Then call attention to Question #1 (When was the last time you were stuck literally or figuratively?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Use the following information to introduce Question #3.
Kara* and her husband live in South Africa, but they are refugees from Burundi. They work alongside IMB missionaries David and Julie Yngsdal, serving among the refugees living in Durban, South Africa. Kara’s extended family has disowned her—they have declared her dead—because she has left Islam and is following Jesus now. Since she became a Christian two years ago, Kara’s extended family has threatened her life, to the point that she has felt unsafe.
“She was living in fear until her baptism last November, when she decided that she didn’t care what her former community said about her,” Julie said. “Since that time, Kara has become increasingly brave, and has been such a blessed testimony, even to those who had previously persecuted her.”
Julie asked other believers to pray for the safety of Kara and her family. Julie describes how they are both fearful and thankful about the threats Kara is experiencing. “Why and how can we be thankful? Because we have a sure promise that God will work all things out for His good for them who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” Julie said.
God answered Julie’s prayers in late December when Kara and her family got news they are being relocated to Canada as part of the United Nations refugee resettlement program. While she is sad to see Kara and her husband leave, she is thankful they will be in a safer place. They will be “missionaries and lights in other places,” Julie said.
* Name changed for security
Say: Kara and her family experienced the threats from their former community, when they became Christians. Yet God is bringing good out of the situation by providing protection and a new community where they can serve Him. Then call attention to Question #3 (When have you seen God bring good out of a bad situation?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote these Leader Extras. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
Study the Bible [Option from Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, p. 62]
Play the video of Matthew West’s song, “Broken Thing.” After the song, discuss God’s forgiveness and offer an opportunity for learners to respond in faith to God’s forgiveness.
Study the Bible [Option from Adult (p. 154) and KJV Adult (p. 160) Leader Guides]
In advance, play a song like “Forgiveness” by Matthew West that illustrates “The Point.” Invite group members to use the time for reflection before concluding this unit about Joseph, who modeled forgiveness so well for us.
- What comes to mind when you think of the word “guilt”?
- What makes long-carried guilt or a grudge so dangerous?
- When have you been happy to forgive someone?
- How can a grudge become a pitfall in our life?
- Do you think it is harder to ask for, give, or recevie forgiveness?
- What are some consequences of carrying a load of guilt?
- Why does refusing forgiveness often feel attractive to us?
- What practical steps can help us remain humble before God?
- Why do we often have a hard time handing control over to God?
- What are some principles from Joseph’s life that can help us embrace forgiveness?
- How has God’s forgiveness changed your life?
- How does God’s forgiveness of us make it easier for us to forgive others?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- Mature Living – Forgetting the Past and Moving Forward