1) When we were kids, a cardboard box was NEVER just a box. It was a playhouse, a rocket, a pirate ship, a race car, any number of things that we could imagine. What do you think happens to many of us in adulthood that we lose our creativity and tend to just see the box again?
2) Have you ever been in Wal-Mart or the Grocery Store & saw a person with whom you have had a conflict. Did you avoid them and go the other way or decide to have an interaction with him/her?
3) What was the BIG IDEA of today’s message entitled “Retaliation” based upon Matthew 5:38-42? You can listen online at http://www.springroad.org/#/sermons-studies.
What LIE might the Enemy try to plant in your mind to refute the truth of this BIG IDEA?
4) Can you think of any ways in our world where people (or a country) have responded to injury/attack with grace instead of retaliation? Share it with your group.
5) Have you ever seen the movie or read the book by Dr. Seuss called “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?” If the village of Who-ville was your house, how would you/your family have responded to the Grinch? If it was America, how would we have responded to the Grinch?
6) When you experience some sort of attack, how do you most often respond? Step away/avoid, attack back, or be the one to initiate peace?
7) How do YOU deal with feelings of wanting to get even?
8) Watch the “Forgiveness Wins” video: http://landofathousandhills.com/forgiveness/. If you could ask any questions of the men and women in the video, what would you ask them?
How was “coffee” an imaginative/creative way of bringing about reconciliation?
9) “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called” what? (cf. Matthew 5:9 from the Beatitudes) Why do you think God would value people who desire peace so much as to call them this?
10) What kind of advice do you give to your children when they report to you that someone has been unjust toward them or “tried to start something?” How does this line up with today’s text?
Do you remember playing the game “Red Light/Green Light” as a kid where you attempted to be the first person to make it to the line and tag whoever was “it?”
*Use your imagination.
What is a practical way that I can take a relational step forward toward a person who has hurt me or with whom I am currently in a conflict?
For powerful examples of forgiveness and reconciliation, watch a movie like “End of the Spear.” You might also watch “Hotel Rwanda” for more context on this week’s video “Forgiveness Wins.” Both are on Netflix.