We come to church on Sunday with our emotions tucked neatly away, dressed in our best (for me that means my best jeans!), and we put on our saintly church lady smile. Underneath we squash the anger, the need for revenge, and the ugly desire to get even. We are all mad about something: the friend who forgot to invite us to her party, the husband who lashed out at us, the minister who did not ask us to teach or sing. And there are the big hurts from our past, the parent that abused, the sister who lied and stole from us, and the classmates who laughed at our awkwardness. All of us have things we have buried, waiting until the day revenge is ours.
Today’s session focuses on dealing with those emotions in a Biblical manner instead of acting on them or covering them over with makeup and lip-gloss. Begin with the introductory question on page 59 of the personal study guide. As you proceed through the session, you may wish to substitute these questions:
- Question #2: In the work place seeing others seemingly prosper as they abuse employees makes for a breeding ground of hurt. James 5 begins with a description of the results of seeking wealth at the cost of others. What emotions are stirred when you read James’ words to the rich?
- Question #3: In a world filled with sin and injustice, we can become angry at the sin and the people who commit those sins. As Christ followers, we have a desire to seek justice. How do we respond to injustice without sinning?
- Question #4: What are the benefits of waiting with patience instead of seeking retaliation or revenge?
- Question #5: Seeking retaliation quickly takes control over our lives unless we turn to Christ. How can we help others find freedom from the bondage of retaliation and revenge?
Holding a grudge, seeking revenge, and retaliation are easy. Being patient, forgiving, and moving on are impossible on our own. It takes dependence of Christ in us to live out being a Christlike example when we have been wronged.
To end today’s session, play the song “Losing” by Tenth Avenue North. A song can be more meaningful with the words before us, so click here to open a printable lyric sheet. Ask members to read silently along as the song is played. If the small group would respond better, here is the Losing video. If it doesn’t appear in the window below, please click here: Tenth Avenue North – Losing (Official Music Video) from tenth-avenue-north on GodTube.
After the song ends, discuss the lyrics. Discussion starters could be:
- What memories or emotions did listening to this song surface?
- What lines are the most meaningful to you?
Ask women to write down the initials of someone they have been waiting to hammer with revenge or have refused to forgive. End today’s time by praying for women to feel the strength to depend of Christ. Pray for women to seek forgiveness and relinquish retaliation to Christ. Pray for women to find a way to repay wrongdoings with kindness. Pray asking for wisdom in knowing how to work to overcome injustices in a Christ like way.
We want to hear from you! How are you closing the discussion of the trouble our mouths cause in your small group?
The options for women for the Pressure Points unit were written by Deb Douglas, Minister to Women and Hope of First Baptist Bossier City, LA. Deb serves, writes, cooks, mothers and grandmothers, and is wife to Paul. Follow her on twitter: DrDebDouglas and her blog: pinkkudzu.wordpress.com