1. Describe yourself. What do you see? How might others describe you? If Jesus is your savior, how does he see you?
2. We have all had people hurt or offend us in innumerable ways. Think about one of those occasions. If you are comfortable, share one of those times. What feelings surfaced then, and what feeling surface as you recall it now? Revenge, justice, pity?
3. How did you react then when it occurred? Would you do anything different if it happened today. Read these verses: Proverbs 24:29, Proverbs 25:21, Romans 12:17, 21, 1 Thessalonians 5:15. In this part of the Sermon on the Mount, is Jesus teaching anything new? Whose job is it to repay evil? (Deut. 32:41, Hebrews 10:30)
4. Have you ever “turned the other cheek?” Who have you established a relationship with …that initially meant harm for you? How would life look if everyone in the church showered its enemies with love rather than revenge?
5. Why does Jesus tell us to have a different “heart” attitude about the way we should act when offended? (Read Peter 2:20-24) Mike said we should think faithfully, eternally and missionally about your responses.
6. Now look at yourself as being the offender. You just slapped Jesus across the face and instead of wiping you off the face of the earth, he holds out his hand to invite you to his home. Does this change your perspective? Has Jesus changed your heart? How?
- Love: Unselfish concern for others & desire to do good
- Example: choosing to play game with friend even though you don’t want to
- Example: choosing to wait your turn instead of demanding to go first.
- Example: choosing to befriend someone who is different instead of teasing them for it
- Example: choosing to speak kindly to someone who speaks angrily toward you.
- Assess their behavior first by using HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
- Think through the following questions. What have they been watching, listening to, hearing or thinking that has caused these desires? Have we prayed through these desires? Has their been putting Truth in and defeating lies from satan? Are we spending time valuing each other and seeing each other as important and worthy?
- Pray through deeper issues of anger, violence and self-protection that may need professional help. Is there a greater physical, mental, emotional or spiritual issues here resulting in abusive behavior.
- You may be angry, but you may not abuse others in your anger
- You may be angry but you are holding us all hostage with your anger
- You may be angry but you many not choose to harm us in your anger
- You seem angry, but do you know the emotion that is causing your anger?
Emotion chart: Very useful in trying to figure out what emotion in causing an angry reaction. Click here for an example. It is helpful to start with vocabulary to explain emotions. Find some help for that here.