Summary: Biblical Principles for Achieving a Pleasing Nature

Title: A Congenial Life

Theme: Biblical Principles for Achieving a Pleasing Nature

• Congenial Life Learns to Listen

• Congenial Life Gives Without Sparing.

• Congenial Life Prays Without Ceasing

• Congenial Life Does Not Complain or Argues

• Congenial life Trust Without Wavering

• Congenial life Promises Without Forgetting

Introduction: We live in a time were people are easily influenced by a world view off criticizing, complaining and the disregarding of the feelings of others. The work place often has an atmosphere of tearing down others for the purpose of building one self-up. Family members spend to much time speaking derogatory comments about and toward each other, rather than speak words of appreciation. Coaches, parents, actually everyone in a place of authority find themselves under the radar of speculation and accusation rather than a searching heart of council and direction. Recently, I saw a face-book pop-up, a picture of an old couple roller-skating together, with comments presenting love as forbearance, the empowerment for not killing each other after all those years of being together.

Proposition: I would propose to you that the Bible has principles to live by that surpasses forbearance and creates congenial surroundings filled with people who have a congenial spirit. In this world filled with a complaining and a critical spirit, there are people who, through a disciplined life, live a congenial life.

Jim Bennet, writing about the Congenial Workplace tells us, "When working alongside individuals that have an overly negative attitude, many people find that their own attitude becomes negative and progress in the workplace is slowed considerably. It is the job of the business management to create a congenial workplace in which all of the employees are able to get along (at least to the point of keeping up positive attitudes and progressing throughout the work day without being slowed down by negative co-workers.)"

God knows the value of a peaceful atmosphere, that is why we are given this exhortation, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Interrogative Sentence: With such an exhortation, just what are Biblical truths that can enable us to have a pleasing nature? How can we realistically create an atmosphere of living that people love to be exposed to?

Transitional Sentence: A key Biblical truth to developing a pleasing character is to learn to listen. Proverbs 18:13 says, "He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame." The Bible also says, "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint and a man of understanding is even-tempered."

God warns us against rash talking, as well as protecting us from coming across as being rude and interruptive. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 6, p. 273). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.) We make a mistake when we think that giving a quick answer shows others how sharp we are. We also deceive ourselves when we think that we must give answers right away. The Bible is saying that it is folly for a man to speak about an issue before he has gotten all the facts and has understanding of the circumstances. (Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 995). Peabody: Hendrickson.; Smith, J. E. (1996). The wisdom literature and Psalms (Pr 18:13). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.) Communication skills are not just good interpersonal relations; they are actually moral issues of wisdom coming from prayerful understanding of the council of God's Word. Responding quickly without listening causes us to give our opinion, thus missing the opportunity to point people to seek the council of the Lord. (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (Pr 18:13). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.) It is actually stupid, because it cause us to miss out on hearing from the Lord and make right judgments.

John 7:24 says "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." "Too often we are slow to hear—we never really listen to the whole matter patiently—and swift to speak; and this gets us into trouble. It is wise to restrain the lips. A godly person will study to answer, but a fool will open his mouth and pour out foolishness. Potiphar did not listen to Joseph’s side of the story and committed a great crime because of it. Jesus and the Apostles were not permitted to tell their whole story; the verdicts were passed by their enemies before the cases were honestly tried.". (Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Pr 18:13). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) "A man should get all the facts before giving his opinion. Otherwise he will be embarrassed when the full details are made known. There are two sides to every question: every divorce, every quarrel, etc. Don’t agree with a person if you have not heard the other person’s side." (MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 838). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.; Willmington, H. L. (1997). Willmington’s Bible handbook (p. 338). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.)

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