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1 Samuel 25; Ephesians 4:1-3; I Peter 3:9-12; Luke 17:3-4; Luke 23:34; James 5:16

Memory Text: Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Why include “relationships” in a series of studies about emotions?

  • Are relationships an emotion or the source of emotions?
  • Clearly, people can incite negative emotions or prompt positive emotions.

David, Nabal and Abigail—

  • Was David’s request fair or an ancient example of extortion–“protection money?”
  • David admits his intent to take revenge was wrong and praises Abigail for preventing him taking things into his own hands.
  • Lessons for those who are wronged?
  • Is it OK to seek legal recourse when you are being or have been oppressed?

Peter’s admonition to return blessing for evil.

  • Does God really hear the prayers of good people and ignore the prayers of the bad?
  • What do you learn about David and about God from David’s kindness toward King Saul?
  • What are the lessons here?
  • E.g. A soft answer turns away anger.
  • E.g. Respect generates respect.
  • Let God take care of people changes.
  • Does this mean human intervention, by law enforcement or political action or social action is inappropriate?
  • C.f. Jacob benefitting at Laban’s expense.

Forgiveness

  • Must we forgive those who repent and ask for forgiveness?
  • E.g. Abusing adult
  • E.g. Assailant who leaves lasting physical or emotional damage
  • Do we forgive only those who repent and ask for forgiveness?
  • E.g. Jesus forgave those who killed him and we don’t read that they apologized.
  • Forgiveness depends on us not the perpetrator.
  • In what ways do those who forgive benefit? (Benefits to the one forgiven are more obviously true.)
  • A question from the lesson quarterly: What should be recommended when forgiveness does not cause any change in abusive behavior?

Confess to one another. (James 5:16)

  • What does James mean here?
  • What hesitancies do you have about confession to others?
  • Are there not appropriate boundaries, things that ought not to be shared?
  • What of the Arab proverb, “Confession is good for the soul, but bad for the reputation?”

Build up one another.

  • What prompts us to criticize and put others down?
  • How might we address the cause of this behavior rather than just control or stifle the demeaning comments?

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