Chapter Eight

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Discussion Questions

God calls us to love the people in the world but not the things of the world? Many Christians end up doing the opposite. Has that happened to you?

When is the last time you volunteered at a homeless shelter and actually sat down to talk with (and listen to) one or more of the patrons? When is the last time you made a friend at a nursing home and maintained that friendship? When is the last time you personally delivered Christmas gifts to an orphanage in your area, hugging each recipient? When is the last time you approached a soldier to say thank you? This is a list that could be a mile long. What are some other people groups that are often forgotten?

Have you ever attempted to help someone and it did not turn out like you might have expected? How did that make you feel? Did it change your willingness to attempt to help the next person?

Going with the examples from the book, how do you (or would you) react to the person who:

  • Rides your back bumper when they have an ample opportunity to pass and you are driving the speed limit.
  • Cuts you off in traffic and does not offer an apology wave.
  • Does not give a thank you wave when you let him or her cut in front of you in traffic.
  • Races to get in front of you in the grocery store line as you were casually headed toward the line.
  • Speeds in front of you to take the parking spot for which you were waiting.
  • Left a quarter cup’s worth of coffee in the coffeepot at work and did not make a new pot.
  • Walks by you at work, looks at your new outfit, and laughs under her breath.
  • Covers his or her mistakes at work by finding a way to blame them on you.
  • Gives a “compliment” to you that isn’t really a compliment (i.e. “Those pants make your thighs look thinner.”).
  • Competes with you at work for the promotion and does not play fair.
  • Constantly brags about how fast her baby or child is developing and then condescendingly encourages you that yours will catch up.

How should you react to the examples in the list above? What additional examples can you add to the list? How does one walk in love without going so far as to be a doormat? Is that too far? Some Early Church Christians were sawed in two. In what situations should persecution be embraced?

If you take on the problems or burdens of others, you are attempting to take the Lord’s place, and you were not made to handle that. It will cause you to lose your peace, it will drain your energy, and you will get stressed, lose sleep, and burn out. You can be a courier of their burdens to help them deliver them to Jesus, but do not attempt to be a carrier. Have you ever attempted to be a carrier? What was the result? Granted, there are exceptions, such as a family member who needs daily, physical assistance. You wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) simply say, “Hey, let’s pray!” Yet, even in the exceptions, we need to make room for God’s grace (empowerment) and not try to attempt to go it alone. What are some other exceptions?