Small Group Guide:
Open with prayer.
Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?
If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.
Realize that judgment is different than discernment
Matt. 7:1, 6, 15-20, 24:24, 1 Cor. 5:9, John 7:24, 1 John 4:1, Jer. 23:16
We are to never use:
1. Harsh or unforgiving judgment
Matt. 7:2, 11:29, Titus 3:2, Prov. 15:1, 2 Tim. 2:24, James 3:17, Gla. 5:22-23, 6:1
2. Hypocritical judgment
Matt. 7:3, 15:7-9, 23:27, Rom. 2:3, 2 Tim. 3:5, 1 Pet. 2:1
3. Proud judgment
Matt. 7:4, 21-23, 6:1, 23:23, Ps. 101:5, 2 Tim. 3:1-5, James 4:11-12, Prov. 6:16-19
4. Superficial judgment
John 7:24, Prov. 18:13, 1 Pet. 5:8, Eoh. 4:29, Titus 3:2
5. Untruthful judgment
Prov. 19:5, Titus 3:2, 1 Pet. 2:1, Prov. 16:28, Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:31
Rather, we are to use Godly discernment, by making sure that we’ve checked:
1. Ourselves against sin
Matt. 7:5, Prov. 17:3, Ps. 26:2, 51:10-12, 139:23-24, 1 Pet. 1:6-7
2. With Scripture
2 Tim. 3:16-17, James 3:5, 5:9, Is. 5:20, Prov. 30:5-6, Heb. 4:12
3. Our relationship with the other person
1 Cor. 5:9-12, Matt. 18:15, James 1:19
4. Our purpose
Matt. 7:12, Gal. 6:1, John 14:6, Rom. 12:19-21, Eph. 5:2, James 5:19-21
5. With the Holy Spirit
2 Cor. 3:17, Gal. 5:25, Acts 8:29, 15:28 John 14:16-17
- Have you ever heard this passage of Scripture or topic taught on before? What stood out to you?
1b. Where have you seen Matthew 7:1 quoted before?
1c. Before this message, did you have any idea what the context of Matthew 7:1 was? What did you know about this verse before hearing this message?
1d. Have you ever felt guilty about judging someone before? If so, take some time to think through and write down the situation.
1e. What does the fine line between being judgemental and being discerning look like Biblically?
2a. Read through this passage of Scripture again (Matthew 7:1-5). Now take a look at the top 5 points in the outline of the message (on the flip side of the paper). Which one of these types of judgment do you most easily navigate towards in your thoughts and in your conversations with others? Why is that?
2b. Taking a look at your answers from question #2a, what kind of negative effects does having that type of judgmental attitude have in your life?
2c. Keeping in mind your answers from questions #2a and #2b, how could eliminating that type of judgment from your life help you to better live the life God created you to live?
2d. What practical step(s) can you take in order to not be unbiblically judgmental?
3a. As we discussed in the message, instead of having a judgmental attitude, we are to use Godly discernment by making sure that we’ve checked these 5 things: ourselves against sin, Scripture, our relationship with the other person, our purpose, and with the Holy Spirit. Of these 5 things to check, which one do you have the most difficult time with?
3b. Keeping in mind your answer from question #3a, how does struggling with that negatively affect your life?
3c. Keeping in mind your answers from questions #3a and #b, what practical step(s) can you take in order to better use Godly discernment instead of unbiblical judgment?
4a. Read John 3:17 and Romans 5:8. How would remembering God’s love towards you, help you to be less unbiblically judgmental, and to use more Godly discernment in your life?
4b. Keeping in mind your answers from question #4a, what practical effect would remembering how God loves you have on your everyday life?
4c. Keeping in mind your answers from questions #4a and #4b, what practical step(s) can you take in order to remember the great love that God has for you?
- If you can only take away one thing from this idea of unbiblical judgment vs. Godly discernment, what would it be, how can you practically implement it in your life, and who can you share it with and ask you to keep you accountable to accomplishing it?
Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:
Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?