The Comparison Game | Day Eighteen
By: Megan Gover | To download the third week of this study, click here.
The families we studied from the book of Genesis yesterday sounded like spin offs of modern day reality TV shows! Between brothers selling their youngest sibling into slavery and brothers stealing their birthright and blessing, we saw a glimpse of the dysfunction and pain family can cause.
As you studied biblical examples of family troubles, I hope you felt a sense of comfort in knowing you are not the only one experiencing frustration with your family. More importantly, I pray you may begin to work past the lack of forgiveness and presence of bitterness comparisons might cultivate and serve your loved ones with the intensity of Christ’s love for you.
Start of this time asking the Lord to uproot any signs of an unforgiving and bitter spirit towards your family members and ask Him to replace it with joy and love.
Begin today reading Matthew 18:21-27 to see how a lack of forgiveness plays out in our lives.
What did Peter ask? What was Jesus’ response?
How do you think the number 77 is significant? (Hint: seven is considered a perfect number.)
Jesus used a parable—or a story to illustrate a spiritual truth—to talk about forgiveness. Though the rabbis taught you should only forgive someone three times, Jesus demonstrated forgiveness shouldn’t be kept track of, but continually offered.
How did the master give unfathomable grace and forgiveness to the servant and his family?
Continue reading Matthew 18:28-35.
How much did the servant’s fellow friend owe him? Was it less or more than what he owed the master?
Remember when we studied talents and a talent of money was worth about 20 years worth of wages? Well, the servant originally owed 10,000 bags of talents. And his friend owed him a hundred denarii—which was about a day’s worth of wages.
Did the servant reflect his master’s forgiveness? Why or why not?
What was the unforgiving servant’s punishment?
What is the truth and wisdom we are supposed to find in this story?
How do the differing amounts of money play a significant part in this story?
Why is the servant hypocritical?
Do you find your actions to be that of the servant or that of the master?
What specific things do you need to forgive your family members from?
If we allow an unforgiving spirit to rule our lives, we continue into a downward spiral of emotions. Turn to Ephesians 4:31-32.
Below are all the things verse 31 says we need to get rid of. Write a little definition next to each of them and give a reason for why you personally might struggle with this constricting emotion.
What are we called to be according to verse 32?
Who is someone you need to be more kind, compassionate, and forgiving to? Why do we need to embody these things and whom can we look to for an example?
Ultimately, when we accept the Lord’s forgiveness for the weight of our sins, yet can’t forgive those around us, we either don’t understand the grace of the Lord or we don’t want to extend it.
Looking through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13, we find a better way to tangibly extend the love of the Lord to others.
Turn to and read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
What three things does Paul tell the Corinthian church he might have, but do not equate to love, they are worthless?
Write out all of the things love is.
Out of all the ways we are called to love, what are some of the ways you feel convicted of and want to change when it comes to loving your family?
Obviously, the love talked about in 1 Corinthians 13 is perfect. Go back through and insert Christ’s name into every place there is love and you will see Christ alone is the one able to love in this capacity. However, we are called to live striving to mirror the Lord’ example.
Ultimately, comparisons tend to bring up all the insecurities, pain, and heartache our family members have caused us. But, when we change our mindset to seek joy, we begin to mirror the Lord’s love, uproot any bitterness, and begin to fully forgive them like Christ has forgiven us!