On Sunday we talked a bit about forgiveness. You can download it here. We looked at Samson and saw how violence, anger, and hurt can just escalate and grow if we don’t deal with it. That, unless we actually learn to deal with our hurt, it can end up driving us, depressing us, and distancing us from our loved ones. We looked at Judges 15 and how when you pursue revenge you never get even, you simply get worse. The story begins with a man, a goat, and a troubled marriage and it ends with hundreds dead, an economy wrecked, and a man hated by both his people and his enemies.
We ended our time thinking about the last scene with Samson where he picks up a jawbone to go another round with the Philistines. This can happen so easily in any relationship where we get hurt and so we want to hurt back. We take a swing with a “jawbone” through words, actions, and thoughts. We lash out saying “they made us do this” (Judges 15:3), trying to get even (15:7), and paying them back for what they did to us (15:11).
The problem is that’s not how Jesus acts or treats us. Jesus gives us a different example where we don’t respond to hate with hate, or hurt with hurt. Jesus shows us a different path where forgivness leads to life. Jesus reminds us that avoiding forgiving simply leads to prolonged hurt. C.S. Lewis’ says “Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” I agree forgiveness isn’t easy, but it is right…
So we ended with this challenge for this week: don’t pick up the jawbone. This week when you are tempted to lash out, to say something snarky, or to get even, break the cycle of hurt by stepping up and forgiving. And next Sunday we’ll be looking at how to practically forgive…
Questions for Discussion
- Adult Discussion Questions
- How have you seen violence or hate “cycle” in your life?
- Why is so hard to break the cycle of revenge, hate, or violence?
- Is there any cycles in your own life that you need break? To take the first step and “drop the jawbone”?
- Questions for Young Families
- Ask your kids what they want to do when soemoen hurts them. Get them to share about the feelings. Ask them what the right thing is to do when someone hurts them. Share with them how if we try to “get even” it always “get’s worse”.
- Weekly Challenge: Don’t pick up the jawbone – practice forgiveness