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1. What was one meeting you dreaded: Angry boss? Ex-spouse? In-laws? Outlaws? Judge? Hostile sibling? When you went through with it, what happened?
2. When has someone tried to “buy” their way into your good graces? What did they offer you? Did you take it? Did you show mercy anyway?
3. Being brutally honest with yourself, how do you try to “buy” the favor of others?
4. Are the angels Jacob meet the result of going in faith? Or the reason for faith?
5. What do you think of the way Jacob prepares to meet Esau? Acting out of fear? Up to his old tricks? Trusting in Esau’s mercy? Or something else? Why do you think so?
6. Does any of Jacob’s actions show a sincere, inner change? If so, which one(s) and how?
7. For what “showdown” are you preparing? How might your spiritual community help you face “your brother” and his “400 men”?
8. What can you learn about prayer from Jacob’s prayer in verses 9 – 12?
9. When you have wronged someone and want to be forgiven, how do you show you are sincerely sorry?
10. How can Jacob’s story help you more effectively ask God or someone else for forgiveness?