You Have Heard It Said
Keep Your Enemies Close
1. After hearing the message, spend some time in your group sharing what you recall from it. What struck you, and what questions did it leave you with?
2. Read Matthew 5:38-48
What word, phrase, or verse stands out to you and why?
3. Discuss the challenges of moving from “ten of yours for one of mine” to the Old Testament “an eye for an eye” to Jesus’ teaching of “do not use violence to set yourself against an evildoer”. Which is your more natural response when wronged by someone?
4. As Christ followers, we are to resist evil while not retaliating against evildoers. Does this make sense or is it conflicting?
5. Compare the metaphor of fighting fire with fire with fighting fire with water. Which approach seems wise? Would water really win others over to Jesus?
5. Is there someone who has become your enemy? How can you put Jesus’ words into practice and treat them like a neighbor?
6. Practicing the peace position is not about passivity in the midst of extreme situations, but about provocative non-retaliation to insults and injustices so that others can come to know God, and so that we can act more like God’s children. Can you think of a way to act this out in your life this week?
7. Does it feel like your own children are the enemy sometimes? Sign up for Gracious Parenting! www.tmh.church/graciousparenting
Gracious God, make me an instrument of your peace. Give me the courage to neither cower, nor to retaliate in kind in the face of evil.