Community Group Questions | The Power of Words in a Family | Sept 30, 2018
Elephant in the Room: The Power of Words in a Family
Rev. Scott Mitchell, Pastor of Community Formation
God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that? Read the following passage and consider these questions.
James 3:1-12 (ESV)
 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
QUESTIONS (40 minutes)
Main point: Words, either spoken or unspoken, carry untold power in our families for good or for ill.
1. In what way are words like a rudder (i.e., guiding something powerful)? In what way are they like a fire (i.e., consuming and destructive)?
2. Share with each other stories of how someone's words have made a significant mark on you, either for good or ill.
3. Share with each other either how your passive-aggressiveness has affected others, or how another's passive-aggressiveness has affected you.
4. Why is the thought of the Father being passive-aggressive toward us so unnerving/disturbing?
5. Why is passive-aggressive behavior ultimately dehumanizing?
6. Why might God have given words both the power of creation and the power of destruction?
PRAYER (10 minutes)
Personal Response: Pray together that our words would change, that they would be avenues for creating and blessing those around us, and that we would be quick to repent when they are not.