Small Group Studies

An Extra Helping Week 1 Study


In our world today, patience is hard to come by. Life moves faster than we can keep up with, and emotions are high. Many people do not like to wait. Anger comes quickly; forgiveness is slow. This is not the way things are to be. Scripture teaches that there is a better way, and that way is patience. We will talk about patience today and be reminded that as followers of Christ, we are called to show patience to everyone around us, even when it is difficult.


What is the longest you have ever had to wait at a restaurant for your food to come out?


Bible Study Questions


1. How would you define patience?

2. Read Matthew 18:21-36. How was patience demonstrated in this story? How was impatience demonstrated?

Matthew 18:21-36

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

3. Why was the lack of patience demonstrated in these verses such an insult to the king? What does this tell us about God?


4. Read James 1:19-21. How do these instructions from James help you define patience?

James 1:19-21

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.


5. Is patience easy for you to demonstrate or difficult? Why or why not?

6. Is there a situation in your life where you are having a difficult time having patience? If so, what is it?

7. What is a step you can take to begin to show patience in that area this week?


In the weekend service, we talked about three reasons we become impatient:

1. We do not know what God has done for us.

2. We do not believe what God has done for us.

3. We do not remember what God has done for us.

Which of these three reasons resonates with you the most? Why? Share this with your group. After sharing, spend some time thinking about your life before Christ and the difference He has made in your life. Share these with your group, telling them the incredible things God has done for you. May remembering and sharing these things encourage you as you go throughout your week and seek to practice patience.

Going Deeper

If we want to understand what it means to be patient, we need to take a deep look at the various usages and definitions of “patience” in Scripture. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, a Greek-to-English dictionary, gives us three different ways the word we translate as “patience” in Matthew 18:29 is used in the New Testament. Let’s explore the different uses for patience in the New Testament to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be patient.

According to a Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, there are three different uses for the Greek word for patience that is found in Matthew 18:29:

1. “To remain tranquil while waiting, have patience, wait.”

a. James 5:7-9 includes this use of patience. Read these verses now in light of this use of patience.

- How does this idea of remaining tranquil while waiting help you to better interpret these verses in James 5?

- How does “grumbling” undermine and disrupt “tranquility?”

b. How does this use of the word “patience” in James 5 help you to understand and apply patience?

2. “To bear up under provocation without complaint, be patient, forbearing”

a. The word “patient” takes on this use in 1 Thessalonians 5:14. Interestingly, “forbear” is an uncommon word, but it sheds much light on this passage. According to Merriam-Webster, to forbear (with patience) is to “control oneself when provoked.” Read 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 in light of this use of patience.

- How does this use of patience shed new light on the passage? What do you see or understand about patience that was not apparent to you before?

b. Matthew 18:29 also uses the idea of “forbearance.” Read Matthew 18:23-27 in light of this use of patience.

- How does this use of patience help you to better interpret these verses in Matthew 18?

After reading these verses, spend some time reflecting on the verses and the different ways that this word we translate as “patience” is used in the New Testament. Discuss these verses with your group, answering the questions below:

1. How do these three uses of the word “patience” affect your view of what godly patience is?

2. Which of the uses of patience, “remaining tranquil while waiting” or “bearing up under provocation without complaint,” do you find most difficult? Why?

3. What is one way that you can begin to practice patience in that difficult area this week?

Patience is difficult, but it is a characteristic worthy of learning and growing in. As you finish your study of patience, divide up into groups of two or three. Within your groups, commit to praying for each other throughout the week. Pray specifically this week for patience in the areas where patience can be difficult. Check in with each other throughout the week and encourage each other as you seek to grow in patience.



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1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.