• What stood out to you in the sermon? (VancouverChurch.org/sermons)
• As a kid, did you ever get into conflicts with siblings, cousins or friends? What did retaliation look like in your early years?
• Read aloud Matthew 5:38-42. What stands out to you in this passage? List two phrases that make you uneasy and explain why. What is Jesus trying to teach in this passage?
• Read aloud Matthew 5:43-48. Compared to vv. 38-42, list two differences and two similarities.
• How did Jesus demonstrate his own commitment to these teachings and why? See Matthew 26:59-68 & 1 Peter 2:23-24.
• How has the forgiveness of Christ affected your life, and how does this fuel your ability to reconcile with others?
• While relational reconciliation is not always possible or even ideal (due to lack of real repentance or simply the nature of the offense), Jesus still calls his followers to develop a heart of reconciliation. What does this mean and why would he put that challenge to us? How is such a heart attitude profitable to the forgiver and the greater human community?
• Discuss these quotes from Lewis B. Smedes, and how they relate to the teachings of Jesus.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you.”
“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”
“It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.”
• What step toward reconciliation is going to require a miracle of God for you to take? Are you willing to take that step? Finish your discussion with prayer, listening for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray.