Life just isn’t the same without friends around. Think about it—doesn’t having friends around make everything a little better? It wouldn’t be as much fun to turn 16 if no one was around to celebrate with you. Youth group would be pretty boring if you were the only person there. Simply put, relationships make things better. But isn’t it also true that the same relationships can also be difficult at times? When you get close enough to somebody, there’s going to be conflict. There are going to be arguments, disagreements or fighting. And how we handle those moments can make or break the relationship. In his letter to Ephesians, Paul offers some guidance on how to handle conflict that, if we can put it into practice, has the power to change the way we fight. Through Paul’s words, we discover the real win in an argument is when we fight for something more than being right.
Ephesians 4: (NIV)
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Small Group Questions
1. When you see a conflict on TV, do you change the channel or lean in and get excited? Do you respond the same way in real life? Why or why not?
2. What’s the main thing that causes conflict and fighting in your life?
3. If you only care about being right and winning the argument, how does that make your relationships suffer?
4. Paul tells us to “make every effort” to maintain peace. What does that look like when you are in a conflict?
5. Why do you think God wants us to fight FOR our relationships?
6. When you fight FOR the relationship, what are you communicating to the people you have a conflict with?
Question of the week
How would you respond differently if you believed that you didn’t have to win the argument to be important?
Find one person to show that they matter, even when you have a disagreement with them?