Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Better Wise Up!
Sermon 3: Peace Talks
- We’re reading through the book of Proverbs to seek God’s wisdom for our daily lives. Share one thing that has been helpful to you personally from the past 7 days of your readings in Proverbs.
- Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Based on these verses that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, why did God give us the Bible? Which of these purposes have you experienced personally? Tell about your experience.
- This past week, we read Proverbs 15-21. A key theme in these chapters is “relationships”. Skim through these chapters together as a group noting what these Proverbs say about how to have good relationships.
- Read Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.What is the point of this proverb? Describe a time when you have seen this proverb in action.
- Back when the Apostle Paul was still called Saul, he was a self-righteous, graceless person who persecuted anyone who saw faith differently than he did. But after he met Jesus Christ, he changed completely. Note what he wrote in Romans 12:18: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
How have you changed since coming to faith in Christ?
Romans 12:18 gives insights on how to live in a way that helps our relationships be the best they can be.
If it is possible – The Reality Stage
- This part of the verse indicates that it’s not always possible. In Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings, he indicates that sometimes our expectations in a relationship may need to be adjusted, because some things are simply not in our control. Rather than staying stuck in a bad relationship hoping for something that is actually not possible, there may be times when it’s best to get out of a relationship. Describe some situations where this might be the case.
- How can a person discern God’s will regarding whether they should get out of a relationship, or whether God wants them to be patient and persist in that relationship?
As far as it depends on you – The Self-Awareness Stage
- Pastor Dale shared some questions that he asks himself when he’s experiencing relational tension with another person:
- What is my part in this?
- What will untie the knot I’m in?
- What will deescalate the tension?
- What will reestablish the trust?
- What will change the atmosphere?
- Where am I being unrealistic or unfair in this relationship?
What difference would it make if you asked yourself these questions when you are upset with another person? What effect would it have?
- Doing our part in relationships includes having the courage to say what needs to be said, rather than being upset with someone, but never telling them about it. Why is it a bad idea not to speak to someone about our concerns when we are upset with them? What happens if we just hold it in?
- When we get up the courage to speak to another person about something that has been bothering us, Pastor Dale said to do it the right way and at the right time. Describe some wrong ways to do this.
Live at peace with everyone – The Miracle Stage
- Pastor Dale pointed out that Romans 12:18 does say “everyone” – so it’s clear that God wants us to seek peace with everyone. But he said that peace can “look different in different situations.” What did he mean by that?
- If you determine that you need to set boundaries and keep some distance from a person, how can you still “live at peace” with them, even in that scenario?
- Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14 that “the love of Christ compels us”. This means that Christ-followers should be willing to go further than the average person might go to repair a relationship, because we know our relationships really matter to Jesus. If there is someone in your life with whom you currently have a broken or damaged relationship, what first steps could you take to move toward peace with them?
- Jesus said in Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. What is a peacemaker like? Why does God want His people to be peacemakers?
- Is there anything in this sermon that you can apply this Thanksgiving? If so, share it with the group.