Many of our friendships center around shared interests; we have the same hobbies and interests or spend time together doing activities that we both enjoy. But what if our friendships had the shared value of helping each other be and become better versions of ourselves? This week, we’ll look at the friendship essential to mutual growth. Coming from the great wisdom of the Book of Proverbs, Jesus shows us how we can embrace God’s good plan for personal growth and invite our friends to speak into our lives!
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week, CLICK HERE
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how last week’s application went.
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Read this verse to your group first, then encourage the practice of memorization throughout the week.
Friendships are established in many ways, from being on a team together to living next door to each other as kids to having common interests with each other. For some, this is great because they can establish their friendships quickly and easily. The problem, however, is that not all these reasons lead us to lasting or even healthy friendships. There needs to be more to a relationship than shallow interests or where you live. True healthy, lasting friendships need to mutually build each other up, sometimes through difficulty and friction, in order to become strong. We see this in the bible in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” This means that for friendships to grow and be good, there must be a “sharpening” in our friendship to help us be more effective in this world. How can we do this?
Big Idea for this week
We should be committed to mutual growth in friendships.
- What kinds of friendships in your life have lasted the longest? The shortest?
- Do your friendships typically help you grow? Why or why not?
- What barriers have you found within your interpersonal growth?
Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions.
- Proverbs 13:18
- Galatians 6:1-2
- Is giving or receiving input from others more difficult for you? Why?
- Think of a time when your feedback was received positively and/or negatively. How did that experience affect you?
- How would you define the difference between helping each other grow and being judgmental?
- At what point do you think empathy within friendships becomes harmful?
- 1 John 3:16-19
- How do you think God challenges us to be better versions of ourselves? How do you react to these challenges?
- Do you think our actions or words say more about how we feel about someone? Why do you think this?
- The verses we just read speak about loving people like Jesus did, in a sacrificial (or unselfish) way. When was a time you experienced love like this in your life? What about in your friendships?
- What could your life look like if you treated your friends in this way?
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group to determine what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- What space in our lives have you created for others to give you feedback?
- Name one way you can begin to improve on this over the course of this series.
- What is one area in your life that the group can help you grow in this week to become a better version of yourself?
- Who is one friend you can ask to provide you with loving feedback about your life this week? How can the group keep you accountable for doing this?
As we learn to become better and more loving in the way we interact with our friendships, honesty and compassion, and grace for others are important. Over the course of this week and beyond, let’s continue to ask God to help us establish or build upon the culture of healthy feedback within our friendships. With God’s help, we can do this together to attain stronger and long-lasting friendships that glorify Jesus to those around us.
Afterward, ask for prayer requests and conclude your time with prayer, then share the Key Verse for the Week and Daily Devotional Verses with the group.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.K. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture, what do you observe?
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Kneel: This is a chance to pray about what you have read and learned.
- Day 1: John 13:35
- Day 2: Proverbs 27:17
- Day 3: James 1:19-20
- Day 4: 1 Peter 1:22
- Day 5: Matthew 18:15
- Day 6: Romans 12:9-10