1. Can you think of an instance when it would take courage to show kindness to someone?
Due to the political state in our nation right now – the divide between liberal and conservative, left and right, democrat and republican – it takes courage to show kindness to those on the “other side of the aisle.” For some reason it has now become a political statement to show kindness to illegal (or legal!) immigrants and refugees. It is seen as a political issue to show kindness and compassion towards those in the LGBTQ community. If we as a church began welcoming these people in with open arms, we could be ostracized from our entire faith community. But if there is one thing Scripture is clear on, we are to show love and kindness to EVERYONE – we are all neighbors.
2. Read 1 Corinthians 6:8-11. How do you treat your past mistakes? Do you forget them or embrace them? Why does it matter?
I tend to want to forget my past mistakes. Who I am is not who I was. I would rather forget that part of my life altogether and move on. However…that can be really unhealthy. That can lead to a “holier than thou” mentality. I’ve known many Christians who acted like they never sinned in their lives. They seem fake and hypocritical. I believe it’s a better testimony to the world that we are all sinners in need of a savior. Sure, we are not those people any more, but we all have a past! If we were all perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus. Rahab embraced her former life as a prostitute and it became a testimony of God’s transforming work in her life. Paul did a similar thing. Maybe we should learn from them.
3. Are you willing to risk everything because of your faith? Why or why not?
This is a tough one. Would I be willing to die for my faith? Absolutely. Would I be willing to risk the lives of my wife and kids because of my faith? That’s not so easy to say. But I realize there are thousands of men and women across the globe for whom that is a day to day reality. I hope and pray that we never have to face that kind of persecution. But if/when we do, I pray that I may have the strength to stand for what I believe in – even if it costs me everything.