I heard that phrase a few times from my mom while growing up…”watch your mouth.” And I probably needed to have heard it more often! Today’s Renew study & group discussion questions are centered in the Matthew 5:33-37 text where Jesus teaches about “oaths.” In the Kingdom of God, our language is a bit different than what most of us normally encounter…
MEMORIZE: Luke 6:45
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (NLT)
1) Name a business or industry that rarely delivers on the promise of its product or service. (*Don’t get side-tracked on the negative! Spend at least as much time on the positive question below!
Name a business or industry where you have experienced great satisfaction that they continually deliver on their product or service.
2) What do you learn about a person when you are able to go to their home for a visit & see what is inside?
3) What do you learn about what is in a person’s heart by listening to their language?
4) What was the BIG IDEA of today’s message entitled “Oaths” based on Matthew 5:33-37? You can listen online at http://www.springroad.org/#/sermons-studies
What LIE might the Enemy speak into your heart to contradict the truth of the BIG IDEA?
5) Has God ever made an oath? What is the difference between a covenant and “swearing an oath?”
6) Where in our culture do we make oaths, promises or vows? In light of the text (Matthew 5:33-37), should we not do this? Why or why not?
7) Words are necessary as we live in community. What is really happening in the heart of a person who swears or overstates what they are trying to communicate to others?
8) Have you ever been cussed out? How did it make you feel? Why did the person use such strong language toward you? What do you think was really going on in the heart of the person speaking to you in such a way?
Have you ever used such strong language toward someone else? What were you trying to achieve?
9) Does cursing, over-stated, strong or inappropriate language ever run through your heart/mind but doesn’t make it out of your mouth? Is it OK as long as it’s not coming out the mouth? Why or why not?
10) How can pious or religious language be used by a person to cover up something that he/she does not want you to know about him/her?
11) What is your most common response if you overhear gossip or someone who is being spoken about poorly?
If you were the person being spoken of poorly, what would you hope another person would do for your sake…even if it was true?
APPLY IT: Speak Words of Life
One of the things I regularly recognized in Student Ministry was BOTH the destructive power and the inspirational power of words. On occasion, we would host an activity called “Affirmation Listing.” Each person in the circle would write his/her name at the top of a sheet of paper and pass it to the right. The next person would write 1 positive thing about the name at the top…something they enjoyed, appreciated, admired, or were grateful concerning that person. The list got passed around the circle with each person adding to the list. You were not allowed to pass. You were allowed to put a check mark next to what the previous person wrote if you agreed, but you had to come up with something new.
Many of those students still carry those Affirmation Lists around in their Bibles years later because those words so powerfully countered lies that the Enemy told them about themselves.
You may think this is very juvenile…but you could try it in your group. Perhaps an equally great challenge would be to determine that you will give a spoken affirmation to 1 person per day, and a different person per day everyday in the coming week.