Don’t Take the Bait – The Bait of Revenge

(Message 2) Revenge is a dish best served cold, says Don Corleone. Maybe that’s how you feel when someone mistreats you. But what does Jesus say about taking revenge? How should we handle our enemies? The reality is, when we take revenge we forfeit the vengeance (or justice) of God and the blessings of God. Join us as we continue in our message, “Don’t Take the Bait – The Bait of Revenge”. #GCDontTakeTheBait

When we take revenge we forfeit the vengeance of God and the blessings of God.

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Key Scripture:

Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)

38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Matthew 5:43-45 (NLT)

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 

2 Samuel 16:5-13 (NLT)

5 As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. 6 He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. 7 “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. 8 “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!” 9 “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!” 10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?” 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David. 

Romans 12:19 (NLT)

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • What’s the best practical joke you’ve ever played on someone?  Did that person get you back?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.

  • Read Matthew 5:38-42.  What does it look like for you to turn the other cheek or carry someone’s gear an extra mile?  How do we live out Jesus’ commands in these verses while at the same time maintaining our dignity?
  • Read Matthew 5:43-45.  Why does Jesus want us to love and serve our enemies?  Can you name a time when you were successful or unsuccessful at living out these verses?  What did you learn from that experience?
  • Read 2 Samuel 16:5-13.  What was Shimei’s problem with David?  How did Abishai want to solve the disgrace?  David said, “Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it.”  What did David mean by that?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.

  • Why do we have such a strong urge to pay someone back for a wrong done to us?  Where does that urge come from?
  • Read Romans 12:19.  Why does vengeance belong to the Lord instead of me?  How does knowing that God will bring justice for the injustices done to you bring a sense of peace to your life?
  • Why did David want to be cursed?  How does David’s motivation change your perspective on getting revenge?
  • What does it mean to allow God to be your defender?  Are you doing that in your life today?

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Identify one area where you are taking revenge and confess it.

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

  • Jesus, thank you that we can rest in your victory.  Please help us to remain assured of that and that you are our defender, to love our enemies and to let you fight our battles. -Amen

Start digging. For further study.

Speaker

Troy Knight

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