“Justice is love in action “
Scripture Reading: (Genesis 37:1-11) (I Corinthians 13:1-7) (Please read and discuss with the questions)
Have you ever been hurt so badly by someone that you desperately wanted revenge? When we’re treated cruelly or unfairly, it’s natural to want justice. But what does “justice” really mean? Is it only about handing out consequences and punishment to the people who have wronged us? Or could it be about something more? How do we balance forgiveness and grace with truth and consequences? There’s someone in the Old Testament of the Bible whose life has a lot to teach us about justice. As we look at the story of Joseph we will see that justice is love in action and that when we’re wronged by others we can hold on to hope, and trust that integrity can withstand injustice, and learn to practice justice that restores what’s broken.
We all want to feel loved by other people.
- Who is someone who makes you feel loved? How do they make you feel that way?
- Why do you think the people we love most are sometimes the people we hurt most?
Joseph’s lack of love set off a painful chain of events, and ultimately, over two decades of heartache could have been avoided. (Read Genesis 37:1-11)
- In Joseph’s family, who hurt who and how?
- What do you think Joseph could have done differently?
Joseph’s family didn’t need more revenge or vengeance. They needed more love (Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7)
- In your own words, what is love? What is justice?
- What do you think love and justice have to do with each other?
- Using the key words from 1 Corinthians 13, in what ways do you sometimes struggle to show love at home? In your friendships? To people you don’t know?
Jacob’s favoritism had created an imbalance in their family by showing favoritism to Joseph. Given the fact that there was already division between his brothers, Joesph needed more love in his words to break down the walls of hostility. Joseph was arrogant and insensitive to the ways his brothers were hurting. When people get hurt they usually want justice, but “justice” can’t be the same thing as “revenge.” If everyone in Joseph’s family who had been hurt tried to take revenge on each other, it would never end! Their family didn’t need more vengeance. They needed more love — but not the kind of love that’s only communicated with words. They needed love communicated through actions, like Paul described in I Corinthians. Because justice isn’t revenge. Justice is love in action.
- Let us ask God for help to never hate anyone even if we feel they are being treated better than us or loved more than us.
- Let us ask God to help us be gentle with our words and speak to others in love.
- Re read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 and pray out all the key words from the passage over your life.
- Pray for one another as needed.
- Next Small Groups February 16 2022