Welcome to week five of our sermon series called Finding Hope in Family Conflict. This week our conversation will center on how God was in control of Joseph’s life. Joseph’s story was a good story, even when he experienced some awful parts along the way.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What is your family makeup? Do you have siblings or are you an only child? If you have siblings where do you fall in the line? Oldest, youngest, somewhere in the middle?
This sermon series is about family conflict. Are there any areas of family conflict the group can be praying about?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone summarize the tension in Jacob’s household in Genesis 37. Who are the main characters? What are the big issues?
Hurt We Receive
How had tension been building for years leading up to this story?
What situation did the ten brothers find themselves in at the beginning of this story? What reasons did the author give that described why they felt hatred toward Joseph? (Genesis 37:4–5, 8)
What are some ways this happens today whether in our families or somewhere else?
Have you ever experienced a season in life where you felt unloved, unvalued and hurt? When was that for you? How has this affected your relationships with others?
Like his father Isaac, Jacob picked favorites with his sons too. How did Jacob show his favoritism?
What do you think was so hurtful to the brothers about Joseph getting the coat? Besides hatred, what are some other emotions they probably felt?
There’s a good chance the brothers felt passed over by their father. Just like the brothers, there are times people are passed over today. How have you seen this happen?
Have you ever watched someone receive something you wanted? What did that feel like?
How might we look to God in moments when we feel passed over and hurt? How can it help us to remember the truth that God loves us and we are valued?
Hurt We Inflict
Senior Pastor Jeff Manion twice mentioned hurt this weekend. First, we received hurt, hate can creep in, and then we can be the one to inflict hurt. Our scripture today lists at least three things that happened to the brothers that probably caused them some tremendous hurt. What were they? (See Genesis 37:2, 4–5)
After being hurt, the brothers next experienced hate. They started to process the pain and something bad began to happen in them. How did the brothers process their pain? How did this hatred build?
Lastly, the brothers returned to hurt, being the ones inflicting hurt on Joseph and their dad. What actions did the brothers take?
How have you seen the cycle of “hurt, hate, hurt” play out in your life or the life of someone you know? Discuss ways we can catch ourselves early in the process of pain, and bring God into the situation to work in us before any action goes through us.
Read Ephesians 5:1. Today’s conversation encouraged us to focus our heart and attention on the great act of love Jesus demonstrated for us on the cross, instead of getting stuck on what someone did to us. How does remembering this encourage us to follow Christ’s example?
How do you usually feel when you go through some awful parts in your own stories? What’s one next step you can take this week to grow in focusing your mind and heart? How might the environments of the Row, Circle and Chair aid us in this?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Invite. As the weather turns warm, many groups begin to plan more social gatherings. Who is unconnected to a small group that you could invite to a social gathering as a first step to invite them into your group? Who can take the lead to make that happen?
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