CARE sheet 1/23/11 Philemon 2 of 3

ICE BREAKER Describe one of the following situations:

a. a time when your attempt to reconcile with someone worked.

b. a time when your attempt to reconcile with someone didn’t work.

Title: Reconciliation at its Most Difficult Hour” -

Text: Philemon 15-16; Matt. 6:12-15; 18:15-35; 2 Cor. 2:5-11;


Jesus on Forgiveness/Reconciliation…

  • Matt. 6:12-15 – Does God’s forgiveness appear to be conditional?
  • Matt. 18:15-35 – What does it mean to “forgive someone from your heart?”(vs. 35).  What process did Jesus outline to help us through the forgiving/reconciling command?
  • What question asked by Peter (vss. 21,22) prompted the parable of the unforgiving servant?

God on Forgiveness/Reconciliation…

  • Read Psalm 103:6-14.  Since God’s nature is our standard of and motivation for obedience what do these verses tell us about how and why God forgives us?

Paul on Forgiveness/Reconciliation…

  • What is the intended result of God’s mercy and forgiveness (“kindness”)?  Rom. 2:4
  • Read Rom. 12:17-21.  If the goal of forgiveness is to “overcome evil with good” then how can our kindness mixed with God’s wrath cooperate to bring people to repentance? (Consider Num. 16:45-49 as an illustration of Moses’ and Aaron’s mixture of passion for the people and for God’s Holiness along with God’s wrath and willingness to forgive.)
  • Read 2 Cor. 2:5-11.  If Satan’s goal is to kill and destroy then how might we “play into his hands” when we refuse to forgive someone that is trying to repent?


  1. Can you imagine trying to forgive your dad which forced you to have an abortion, people who had chopped up your brother, or a father that had repeatedly molested your sister?
  2. Which of these passages of Scripture would be a good memory verse to help you forgive someone that you feel may be unforgivable?
  3. How can a person know if someone that has hurt them really wants to repent and be forgiven or just free from consequences?  (Forgiveness-Repentance)
  4. Check out some books on forgiveness/repentance/reconciliation  worth reading: Steering Clear by Earl Wilson; Rebuilding Your Broken World by Gordon McDonald; How to Save Your Marriage Alone by Dr. Ed Wheat; When Your Mate Wants Out ; When Your Child Breaks Your Heart; Forgiving the Unforgivable


  1. How does Timber Lake Christian Church try to help people find reconciliation with God and others? (church shepherding policy (3); A Test of Love tract tract)


Title: The Accountability Triangle

Text: Philemon 18-22

1. How was Philemon’s relationship with Onesimus affected Paul?

2. How was Paul’s relationship with Philemon affected by Onesimus?

3. How was Onesimus’ relationship with Paul affected by Philemon?

4. How were these men’s relationships with God affected by this life challenge?