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To Save A Life, 2010

Where is God in times of trouble?

To Save A Life can stimulate discussions about reaching out to others, self-destructive behavior, and how becoming a Christian is often the beginning of a spiritual battle. To Save A Life can also inspire talk about spiritual hypocrisy and judgmentalism, and why God sometimes appears far away in our hour of need.

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Young Roger pushes his friend, Jake, out of the path of an oncoming car, taking the hit himself. Roger is permanently injured. Describe how Jake treats his childhood friend, and the effect this treatment has on Roger, leading to his suicide. Who else was to blame in abandoning Roger? Why should we value people? Read Luke 6:31-36 and Luke 14:12-14. Roger was not an enemy, but he was a social outcast at school. How can verses like these teach us how to behave toward those who struggle in a world where popularity defines people? Who is there, among the people you know at school or work, that you can befriend this week?

Roger commits suicide, Jonny and Andrea are cutters; many of the teens in this film do drugs, get drunk, and have sex. What is it about their lives that cause them to want to end it all, mask their pain with other pain, or drugs, or by using the bodies of others? How realistic is the film's portrayal of contemporary teen culture? Read Romans 1:28-32 1 John 4:7-11 and 1 Peter 4:8-11. Contrast these two sets of verses. Why does a lack of acknowledging God lead to all of these bad behaviors? What kind of example of love does Jesus set for us? How does love "cover a multitude of sins"?

When Jake meets Pastor Chris, what is his initial response? Describe how Chris engages Jake. How is this different from the way most non-Christians expect Christians to approach them? Read Colossians 4:5-6. Who are the "outsiders" Paul is speaking about? What does he mean when he says we must make "the most of the opportunity"? What does gracious speech sound like? What would you contrast it with? How do we prepare to speak to people who do not know Christ, but need Him?

Why is Amy reluctant to go to church with Jake? Why does she run from the meeting? How does Jake respond when Pastor Chris asks for his input? How accurately do you think the filmmakers portrayed youth groups? Why are so many youth groups this way? Read Romans 12:1-21. List some of the commands Paul gives to the Roman church. Which ones does your own group most need to hear? Which ones do you most need to hear? Why do you think Paul needed to instruct and command this church regarding these issues? What must we do in order to "love without hypocrisy"?

Jake becomes a Christian. How does it affect his life? When Jake complains to Chris that becoming a Christian has made his life harder, what does Chris tell him? Why do some people believe that Jesus will take away all of their problems? The Apostle Paul was a very faithful Christian. After believing in Jesus he was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and executed. Why do you think he continued to follow Jesus? Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. What "treasure" does Paul have to share? How does Paul avoid losing heart in the face of afflictions? Why should we keep our eyes focused on eternal things instead of only our present circumstances?