More Walking Talk
Picking up from last week, we’re looking for opportunities to talk more with our kids about what it looks like to live as a Christian—what it means for them to walk instead of crawl as they grow to be more like Jesus.
You might be tempted to see the bullet-pointed list of commands in the middle of Romans 12 as a kind of legalistic, performance-motivated approach to being a Christian. But to actually follow the list, you’d have to give up that idea. There’s no room in those one-liners for the pride of performance.
Instead, Paul describes what is looks like in everyday life to be a living sacrifice. (See verses 1-3.)
What we should want for our children as they grow in Christ is to do what is so hard for us—to set themselves aside, to give themselves away, to commit without fear to enjoying God and trusting Him to meet every need. Maybe that starts with a conversation with us about what this walk should look like.
We hope a few of the following questions will help with that.
- Do you think it should be normal for Christians to really live like Jesus—or is that more for serious or “professional” Christians like pastors and Sunday School teachers and church leaders?
- Do you expect that the more you grow as a Christian, the more you’ll live like Jesus? Why or why not?
- Do you think God will love you any less if you never get less selfish or trust Him any more or treat other people any better? If not, why would you make the effort to use God’s power to walk like Jesus?
- We’re going to look at a few specific examples of what it means to live like Jesus—or to use our lives for God.
- Romans 12:14 tells us to bless those who persecute us—and not to curse them. What do you think it means to be persecuted? Do you know anyone—or know of anyone—who has ever been truly persecuted for believing in Jesus?
- Verse 17 tells us that people walking like Jesus don’t pay back evil when someone does evil to them. How hard would it be for you not to get even when someone is hurtful to you? Can you think of any times when Jesus did not get even when He could have?
- Verse 19 takes it even further, telling us to do good things for people who do bad things to us—to give food if they’re hungry and drink if they’re thirsty. Can you think of a time—or even a story—when you’ve heard of someone doing this for an enemy or a hurtful person?
- Why do you think God would tell us to walk this way? [Parent: The passage gives two reasons—one is to leave room for God to take His own revenge and the other is that our goodness overcomes evil.]
- Do you tend to think of being good as being strong or weak? Do you think it takes strength or weakness not to get even or to give a good thing to someone who did a bad thing to you?
- In the long run, which will win—strength or weakness? [Parent, emphasize that this passage teaches us that strength wins in the long run—and strength comes with doing what is good.]
- Romans 12 also tells us to make a goal of being at peace with people. Do you see that as a goal we try to work toward in our family? Do you think of that as a way of trusting God or being like Jesus?
- What are some ways we could do better, maybe, at working to get along with people and keep peaceful relationships?