Main Point: Revenge is something God wants us to avoid…and instead, focus on peace and forgiveness.
Discussion Starter: YouTube Videos of Revenge
This is pretty simple to pull off, and will provide laughter and a great way to make your point. Just connect your computer to the video projector and show one or more of these videos.
- Man Gets Even With Snow Blower Thief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPa0H8d0vSo
- Husband Gets Revenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCoQmXbNjAo
- Wife Gets Revenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io2YpXLycIU&feature=related
NOTE: This clip mentions the word a**hole in it.
Whether we realize it or not, revenge is a big part of our lives. Think about it: revenge is committed so often, we are even entertained by the very idea of it. The second Transformers’ movie was called “REVENGE of the Fallen.” There’s a new TV show on ABC called “REVENGE.” There are tons of websites online that are dedicated to telling REVENGE stories. That’s why I say, “Revenge is a big part of our lives.” In fact, sometimes, it shows up in our own lives. But what does God have to say about that? Let’s spend the next few minutes discussing that question.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether we’ve ever been involved in revenge – either giving or receiving.
- ASK A FEW: Go back to those videos for a second. Which one do you think was the worst form of revenge? Which would you least like to receive?
- ASK A FEW: When you watched the videos, did the “revenge match the crime” so to speak? In other words, was the revenge that was dished out actually warranted?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think people take revenge?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think that the people who took revenge consider themselves “even”?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever sought revenge? If so, how did it turn out?
- ASK A FEW: How does revenge affect the people that receive it? How does revenge impact the people who give it?
Read the following passage:
Romans 12:16-21 (NIV)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So our topic was one that affects our lives on at least a monthly basis: revenge. We see it, we feel it, and sometimes, we even give it. And, according to the Bible, that’s not a good thing.
Here’s the problem with revenge: Where do you draw the line? In other words, at what point are you “even” or “compensated” for your own hurt? How can you know if you’ve given just the right amount of revenge, not enough, or even too much?
The truth is, there is no line when it comes to revenge. If you seek to avenge yourself, you’re only causing yourself more harm. Yeah, you might hurt that other person, but you’ve also damaged the relationship between you and God, because God has told us to avoid revenge.
Let me share with you another passage of Scripture. This one comes from James 2:12-13. The brother of Jesus says, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
Do you believe that??? James actually believes that mercy is greater than judgment…his word for revenge! He wants us to live our lives in peace with one another because we now live in peace with God because of what Jesus has done for us. God has led us by example in this difficult aspect of life, and He expects that we follow His example.
This is NEVER easy to do, though. But you don’t have to walk through this challenging aspect of our faith, alone. You can get help. If you want to talk about this issue some more, see us after we pray. You’ll be glad you did.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.