OCTOBER 21-25 | 2019
Choosing Love Over Revenge
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."
Dealing with Retaliation.
When someone wrongs us, it's usually hard not to want to strike back or retaliate. In the passage, Jesus shows us how to deal with situations like this. We can retaliate with the love of Christ. One of the first instincts people typically have when they're hurt is to become defensive, or even aggressive. If we follow this example, we can choose not to fight back, and instead choose to love the person well.
Retaliation often escalates situations, and makes them worse than when they started. If we choose to be the bigger person, we will choose to love people like Jesus did, recognizing our own sin before condemning them for their own. We are called to love, and there's no greater example of love than Jesus himself.
Thank you for how you've loved us, and the example you give us on how to love those who have hurt us. Remind us of your heart for us this week as we look to choose love over revenge or retaliation. Continue to shape us to be more and more like you. We thank you, we love you, and we praise you.
Why is our first instinct to fight back when we feel hurt?
What are some practical ways that you can love people who have hurt you?
"Jesus didn't pray 'Take them out.' He prayed 'Keep them through.'" - Cory Russell. Discuss the quote with your group.
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