Preach the word. Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2). Be patient then, brothers until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (James 5:7-8, 10). Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. – Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. – 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. – Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12: 14, 17, 19-20). You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. – You have heard that it was said “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48). We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Heb 6:12).
1. How was Timothy instructed to preach the word?
2. What does the example James uses to illustrate patience teach you? Who are some examples of patience in your life?
3. What reason does the Roman passage give for not taking revenge? What are we to do rather than return evil for evil?
4. What injustice have you seen or experienced in your life? What was your reaction (perhaps both physical, verbal and your heart-response) to it? Was the reaction in keeping with the passages above or not? If you were to face a similar situation in the future, what would be a Spirit-filled response?