I know It When I See It
Peace, Patience, and Gentleness
Weekend in review
There are certain things you can try to define, describe, or explain. You can use metaphors and illustrations. You can wordsmith and try to paint a verbal picture. But some things are just better seen. For the next few weeks we’re going to look at the kind of character traits the Holy Spirit wants to produce in all of us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. When these traits are visible and tangible in our lives, people stand back and say, “Oh, so THAT’S what it looks like.”
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.
If you found a way to join in our 21 Days of Service this past week serving your neighborhood, tell the group about it.
Have you ever been the recipient of someone paying it forward?
Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. The word “gentleness” here does not refer to anything weak or fragile. The Greek word means “power under control.” And that word actually emphasizes that there is a divine origin of that power. Gene gave several examples of Jesus exercising this gentleness. What do you think of this definition? Does it change your understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus?
- Read Matthew 11:28-29. Jesus saw potential in the disciples, despite their rough edges. He invited them to follow him and invested time discipling them. Who saw potential in you, invited you in to a relationship with Jesus, and invested in you spiritually?
- Gene explained that gentleness grows when we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to submit our power to his control. Where has it been hard for you to rest in God and submit to his control? When those situations come up again (and they likely will!) what would be the best thing for you to do?
- Read Ephesians 4:2. The qualities of the fruit of the spirit are intertwined. How does patience relate to gentleness?
- Read James 1:2-4. Gene stated that patience grows when we endure trials. What’s one trial you’ve come through that tested and increased your patience?
- How can serving others instead of sulking in our self-pity help us grow?
- Read Isaiah 26:3 Gene stated that peace grows when we focus on what you know to be true about God. What are the things you know to be true about God? What do the qualities of the fruit of God’s spirit within you tell you about him?
- Where is the place in your life right now that you need peace most? How can you submit it to God and rest in his strength?
- Share one of the three qualities examined today that you would like to focus on this week. Start by spending time in prayer, asking God to do soul-transforming work in your life.
- Discuss how you will participate in the final week of 21 Days of Serving as a group or individually. This week we’ll be focusing on serving in our community. Perhaps you’d like to assemble meals, write notes of encouragement or volunteer with one of our ministry partners. You can get more ideas at https://eastside.com/21days/. Don’t forget to be sure to pin your activities.
Wrap up & prayer
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Pray the Holy Spirit would soften our rough edges with gentleness. That patience will grow strong within us in the trials some are enduring right now. That God’s spirit would fill us with peace as we focus on what we know to be true about him. Pray that God would give us eyes to see and compassion to respond to the needs he puts before us, softening our hearts, knowing that everyone matters to him.