Date: July 3, 2022
The Point: Let your responsibility to others drive how you exercise your rights.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
Several communities around the country are opting for drone light shows instead of the traditional fireworks show for the 4th of July. Primarily citing concerns about wildfire risks and debris, some communities are hiring drone companies to put on elaborate light shows this year to celebrate America’s Independence.
On Independence Day, we celebrate the wonderful freedom and independence we have as Americans. And in a lot of places, this includes the freedom to light stuff on fire and send explosions into the air. But just because something is allowed, doesn’t mean it is always the best choice. In many places, properly handled fireworks pose little to no risk. But in other areas that are prone to wildfires, fireworks may not be the best choice.
Even better than the freedoms and rights we have as Americans, are the freedoms and rights we have as Christians. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians in Corinth to help others come to know these freedoms. Sometimes, setting aside your own freedoms or rights for the sake of others, can help them come to know Christ.
As we study a specific example that Paul presented to the Christians at Corinth, we will consider how this might apply to our freedoms and rights today.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. She enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor in Southern California. Back in Tennessee now, she loves being a mom and writer.
Get Into the Study [from Adult Leader Guide, p. 63 and KJV Adult Leader Guide, p. 62]
In advance, play a video clip illustrating how smart phones can help us. Then ask Question #1.
Live It Out
Use the following story to conclude this session.
According to AP News, inflation is currently at a 40-year high. Consumer goods cost 8.6% more than they did at this time last year, and the cost for everything from cars to houses to hotels to flights have increased dramatically. The question is—what caused the inflation? In truth, there are a lot of factors. With an influx of extra income from stimulus payments, people have been making big purchases at a rapid rate. Covid lockdowns have caused factory shutdowns across the world, creating an imbalance of supply and demand. The war in Ukraine has caused oil prices to spike. There are hundreds of different factors, some small, some large, that create an environment ripe for inflation, and as a result, individuals all over the world are suddenly paying more for their food, clothing, and rent. The economic ecosystem we live in has been disrupted—demonstrating just how fragile and interdependent our finances are to begin with.
As we tighten our budgets (and try not to fill up our gas tanks), let us remember that our lives are more closely linked with others than we’ll ever fully grasp—and that this goes far beyond financial implications. This actually has deep implications for our spiritual lives. Each day, we are faced with choices that may seem insignificant, but how we choose in those moments may have an impact on the spiritual health of others—in sometimes small, but sometimes, much greater ways than we could have imagined. Yes, we have the gift of walking in freedom, but the Apostle Paul reminds us in this passage that this freedom isn’t a pass to do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it. It is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of leading others towards the light of Christ.
- What are your favorite ways to recognize Independence Day?
- What do you most appreciate about being a citizen of your country?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve about our use of cellphones?
1 Corinthians 10:23-24
- How do we determine what is beneficial to others?
- How does our culture today communicate that “everything is permissible”?
- Why is the good of others our responsibility?
1 Corinthians 10:25-30
- Who do you know who’s consistently considerate toward others?
- How might legalism get in the way of doing what is best for others?
- What does this passage teach us about making choices for the good of others on a practical level?
1 Corinthians 10:31-35
- Why do believers’ actions affect unbelievers’ attitude toward Jesus?
- While keeping an others-first mentality, how do we ensure we are still seeking to please God over people?
- What are some factors in determining whether or not to act on our personal rights and freedoms?
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.