By Michael C. Mack
1. What personal freedom is most vital to you?
Read 1 Corinthians 8.
2. Who was Paul speaking to—the mature Christians who knew (or thought they knew) the truth or the less mature Christians who were struggling with this issue? What was the issue at hand?
3. Paul is connecting with two sides: How does he appeal to both the head and the heart, to logic as well as love? What’s his personal conviction?
4. How well do logical arguments generally work with emotion-laden issues?
5. What are some examples in today’s world for which more mature Christians have freedom but could be a stumbling block to others? Pick one and discuss these questions:
• What logic might mature Christians use to condone exercising their rights for this issue?
• When would it be OK to indulge? When would it not?
• How might Paul’s discussion of stumbling blocks be misused in the Christian community (for instance, to control someone’s behavior)?
• How can love build up in this situation?
6. What issue in your small group or church could benefit from applying love and grace rather than pure logic?
Michael Mack is the author of 16 small group books and discussion guides, including I’m a Leader . . . Now What? (Standard Publishing). He also leads church training events and consults with churches through his ministry, Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com).