Kindness seems to be a human trait that can be found in everyone, everywhere. However, the supernatural characteristic of kindness is very different from the kindness that the world most often presents. Biblical kindness is generous, self-effacing mercy. Unfortunately, there is a counterfeit – mixed-motived nicety. While we think they are the same, they are very different. Jesus illustrates the world’s version of kindness. He then describes the true characteristic of kindness. Kindness grows in the garden of our guilt. When we recognize that our guilt is a call to turn to Jesus to repent and receive his forgiveness, God takes the wilderness of debilitating guilt and transforms it into a garden where he cultivates the fruit of his Spirit which is kindness.
- How would you describe the similarities and differences between mixed-motived nicety and generous, self-effacing mercy? Which describes the kindness you show to others? Which describes the kindness you have received from others, including God?
- How do we attach strings to our acts of kindness to others?
- How long do you think guilt should last in your heart and mind? Do you ever associate the size and duration of guilt with the size and scale of the offense? Why? Why not?
- How does guilt often lead us to being critical of others? Have you ever noticed this in your life?
- How does Jesus reveal that Simon the pharisee displayed counterfeit kindness in Luke 7:36-50?
- How does Jesus reveal that the sinful woman displayed true kindness in that same passage?
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The outline and application questions are intended for your further reflection and action upon the weekend message. They are also designed to facilitate discussion and accountability within your LifeGroup.