We wrapped up our two-week small group series on conflict by examining ways our teenagers can avoid the explosive conflicts that damage and destroy friendships. We focused our attention on John 15:12-14, when Jesus said people who obey his commands are his friends.
Jesus was talking about true, genuine friendship - a focus on others, a willingness to make sacrifices, and a heart to forgive. Jesus loves everyone so much that he was willing to die for them. He demonstrated friendship by loving people that were unloved, judged, and betrayed. He asks that his followers display the same depth of love.
We encouraged our students to recognize how Jesus defines friendships and to understand that if they follow his model, they're more likely to avoid the explosive conflicts that can destroy friendships.
Here are some questions you might want to ask as you're talking with your teenager about this week's lesson:
- Think of a time when a friend put your needs before his or hers. How did that act of kindness affect your friendship?
- How might your sacrifices help you avoid destructive conflicts or disagreements with friends?
- Think about your friendships. How can small things make a big impact, either positively or negatively?
Have an awesome week!