Love Where You Live :: A Love Greater Than Offenses

Posted on

5/15 – at Gateway South & Central
6/5 – at Gateway North, Branson & Online

We were created for community with others, but building and maintaining strong, healthy relationships can be really hard work, especially when other people are involved! And what happens when those people say or do things that offend us or when we offend them? How are we able to still love them?

Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. If you scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed, there’s a good chance someone’s complaining about being offended by something or someone, or you can even find yourself taking offense at the words of others. Are people more easily offended these days, or has social media changed the way we respond to offenses, be it real or perceived?
  2. What are some examples of times when you worked through a conflict or an offense, and you were able to rescue or restart the relationship?
  3. Read Matthew 18:15-17. Why do you think it was necessary for Jesus to provide such clear direction on the steps for restoring right relationship with others? How well are you doing following these steps?
  4. Often we talk to someone about how we were offended or hurt by someone else and don’t actually ever talk through the offense with the offending person directly. How can we break out of that cycle?
  5. Read Colossians 3:12-15. Why is forgiving others and overcoming bitterness towards others so important to our spiritual health? How can you live this out with your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors?
  6. Do you have something against someone or does anyone have something against you? If so, what is your plan for resolving that conflict? Is there someone who has offended you, you need to forgive?
  7. With your neighbors, how can you be an agent of change healthily working through offenses, when they happen, to love where you live well?


Matthew 18:15-17 — If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

Colossians 3:12-15 — Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.


The heart of this series is to encourage you to Love Where You Live regardless of politics, ethnicity, religion or offenses. Utilize these ideas to take next steps towards loving your neighbors.

  • Have an intentional get-to-know-you conversation with a neighbor. What do they do for work and fun? How long have they been in the neighborhood? Where are they from? What about their family?
  • Share your story with a neighbor you know. Use this as an opportunity to talk about where God has shown up in your life recently.

Other Resources


Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.

Spiritual Outcomes – Peacemaker & Relationally Engaged 

Jesus said that “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Peace often seems in short supply in our world and country, but this is also often true in our local communities, workplaces and even our homes. How can we as Christ-followers love where we live?

  • Learn more about loving where you live by working through the PEACEMAKER outcome.
  • Learn more about loving where you live by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.


If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!