NOTE: Following is a copy of a discussion guide that could be used in a small group setting, such as MoSt Church‘s LIFE groups. These discussion guides work the same subjects and primary texts as the Sunday morning sermon. You’ll find these guides categorized each week under the category title LIFE group guides.
To aid our development in Christ’s character, toward a life full of care for each other, devoid of judging.
Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or sister, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when there’s a log in your eye? You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs. They will stomp on the pearls, then turn around and attack you.
Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:1-12 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are intended to simply get us all talking.
1. Tell us of a time you just knew you had something perfectly figured out, but turned out to be wrong.
These questions are meant to help us grapple directly with the sermon’s primary Scripture text.
2. What does vs. 6 mean (“Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs. They will stomp on the pearls, then turn around and attack you”)? How does vs. 6 serve as a bridge between Matt. 7:1-5 and Matt. 7:7-12?
3. According to vs.1-5, on what does judging rely? Jesus’ way of handling things (vs. 7-12) is quite different. On what does Jesus’ way of handling things rely?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us through his word.
1. What are some words or phrases that are more or less synonymous with the word “judging?”
2. Recount some instances and accounts of misjudgment as recorded in the narratives of the Bible.
3. Tell us about a time you judged someone, or had been judged by someone, and the judgment rendered was based on a wrong assessment. What was it like? How did it feel? What resulted?
4. It is commonly said among those who are yet to believe that a great many Christians are judgmental. Do you believe this is true or simply a smoke screen or excuse not to consider faith? Explain and give evidence for your take on this.
5. If a person’s heart is diseased with judging others, what symptoms would likely present themselves? What symptoms might be unnoticeable to the person afflicted, but obvious to others? What specifically does the disease of judging others do to the afflicted person?
6. What other kinds of evil grows in the soil of hearts and minds fertilized with judgmental ways?
7. Do you think a person who has had a habit of judging others for most of their life can truly change? If they could change, what do you suppose would need to be in their life for that to happen?
8. Name some other reasons why we judge others other than the four reasons offered in the sermon.
9. Of what do most of your requests to God in prayer for others consist? What sort of things might we ask of God when praying about eliminating judging from our life?