Building Community - James 3:13 - 4:12

  • What was this week’s sermon about?
  • Have you thought about or made any changes in your life this week as a result of the sermon?

Building Community

  • In what ways are we influenced by the people around us?
  • How have your thoughts, beliefs or actions been influenced by people in your life?

Read James 3:13 – 4:12

  • James 3:18 says ‘Peacemakers who sow in pace reap a harvest of righteousness’. What does this mean? (‘Righteousness’ here means right with God and also right with the world and people)
  • When has living in community with others been a blessing to you?

Read John 17:20-23

  • What is Jesus’ vision for community in his prayer?
  • What does ‘being one’ mean when it comes to differences of opinions or different ways of doing things? Do we all need to be the same?
  • What about the things we believe as Christians?
  • What things make it difficult for you to live in peaceful community?
  • According to James, what is the cause of conflict? (James 4:1-3 and also 4:6)
  • In what ways do you exhibit spiritual and relational pride? (If you want to take a good look at yourself, see Jonathan Edward’s rather helpful list below J )
  • James 4:7-10 says that humility is the key to removing pride from our lives. What is the difference between being humble and being a walkover?
  • What does true humility look like?
  • In his sermon Mark said that low self-esteem is a form of pride. What do you think of that idea? In what ways is it true (or not)?
  • How can we help ourselves and others deal with spiritual pride?
  • When have you seen conflict resolved, or peace achieved, through the humility of an individual?
  • How could knowing you are totally and completely loved by God bring more humility into your life?

Getting practical

Are there any relationships in your life where you need to be the peacemaker? Discuss this with your group, as you are comfortable. Pray about it, asking God to guide and support you. Ask your group to help you come up with a plan of action, including asking them to follow up about it later with you.

Jonathan Edwards on Spiritual Pride

  • Pride makes you more aware of others faults than you are of your own.
  • Pride leads you to have air of contempt and disdain of others when speaking of their faults.
  • Pride leads you to quickly separate from people who you’ve criticised or who criticise you.
  • A proud person is dogmatic and sure about every point of belief.
  • A proud person loves to confront because they like winning.
  • A proud person is often unhappy and sorry for themselves, because
  • o  They are so sure that they know how life ought to go and
  • o   They are sure they deserve a good life

“The gospel destroys pride, because it tells us we are so lost that
Jesus had to die for us. And it also destroys fearfulness,
because it tells us that nothing we can do will exhaust his love for us.”

Tim Keller