Hey Small Group Leaders!
We’re starting a new series on temptation this week called What’s The Catch. This week, we’ll guide your students through a conversation about temptation and what they can do to avoid getting caught in its trap. We’re praying for you!
Remember, small groups run through June and then we break for July and August!
SERIES PREVIEW FOR WHAT’S THE CATCH:
WEEK ONE SUMMARY: June 17
Have you ever wanted to do something you knew wasn’t right and found yourself struggling to say no? That’s temptation, and it has a way of luring us in and hooking us in its trap. This week, as we learn to look for the hook behind every temptation, we’ll see that we can avoid getting lured in and caught.
Look for the hook.
THE GOAL OF SMALL GROUP
To help students understand that God loves them and can be trusted, no matter their current circumstances.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES & SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed (James 1:13-14 NIV).
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters (James 1:16 NIV).
1)What are some common temptations in middle and high school?
a)What does the “bait” (the lie) look like in those situations?
b)What does the “hook” (the consequence) look like in those situations?
2)Why do you think temptation is so appealing even though giving in to it usually ends badly?
3)How do you think stopping to look for the hook can help you better deal with temptation?
4)What’s one way you can start saying no to temptation?
5)How can you enlist the help of other people when you feel tempted?
6)We tend to think that God is mad at us when we give in to temptation. What’s one truth you can use to replace that lie?
When it comes to temptation, the struggle is real. And not just for your students, but for us as leaders as well. As we guide our students toward resisting the things that may not be God’s best for them, we can’t ignore the fact that we too must fight to do the same thing in our own lives. And as we know from experience, turning away from what isn’t best in favor of what we hope will be the best one day is one of the greatest struggles in our walk with God.
As we all work to navigate the twisting road of temptation, we can find strength in remembering that temptation isn’t from God. Sometimes half the battle is simply recognizing the real enemy we’re fighting. As the book of James says:
When a person is tempted, they shouldn’t say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God can’t be tempted by evil. And he doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted by their own evil desires. These desires lead them on and drag them away. When these desires are allowed to remain, they lead to sin. And when sin is allowed to remain and grow, it leads to death (James 1:13-15 NIRV).
When we’re facing temptation of any kind, the first thing we can do is call out the real enemy. Call it what it is. Name it temptation—something designed to pull you away from God’s best for your life. And then remember that we have the power to fight against it thanks to God. When we keep our eyes on what’s true—what’s of God—we’ll find renewed strength to fight the things tempting us to turn away.
When you find yourself feeling tempted this week, stop and call it what it is—temptation! Then, pray for God’s strength to help you keep your eyes on His truth and walk away from what’s threatening to pull you away from Him.
“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson