Summary: In any context in which we must work closely with people, we can expect conflict, irritation, inconsistency, and aggravation. It takes discipline to handle them well.
1. There is a constant debate between computer users: Is Apple (Mac) better than Windows?
2. For people who work with graphics, the Mac will win by and large.
3. But for the rest of us, the matter is debated — especially taking into account the cost difference.
4. Some people have almost cult-like appreciation for Apple products.
5. Our text today uses imagery based upon an apple; at the time it was composed, Microsoft did not exits. The apple, in this case, is a literal apple.
6. Not talking about garden of Eden — no apple mentioned there (figs?).
7. The broader subject of our text is relational discipline.
Main Idea: In any context in which we must work closely with people, we can expect conflict, irritation, inconsistency, and aggravation. It takes discipline to handle them well.
I. The Discipline of Drawing Conclusions Carefully and Acting in a DELAYED Fashion (8-10)
A. One REACTIONARY behavior is rushing to court.
• Jesus midrash: avoid court when you can, Matthew 5:23-26:
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
B. Another reactionary behavior is to rush to the NEIGHBORS.
• "To run to the law or to the neighbors is usually to run away from the duty of personal relationship..." (Derek Kidner)
• Good relationships require good communication!
C. Address matters PRIVATELY instead.
1. PRAY about it.
2. Determine a PLAN to address it.
3. SLEEP on it.
4. Remember Vasicek’s Law: People always do what they do for a REASON.
D. If you are IMPULSIVE or reactionary, you come out looking foolish.
King Josiah’s deadly mistake (2 Chronicles 35:20-24)
II. The Discipline of Purposing Our Tongues to BUILD UP, Not Tear Down (11-14)
Ephesians 4:29 could be a midrash on this text: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
A. Our tongues are like VOLUME controls with numerous settings.
B. Appropriate words are like a piece of fine ART (11)
1. We might refer to this as a picture of good taste in choosing our words. Some people say, “I don’t care what other people think.” Such people should be ashamed of themselves.
2. This is what Paul means by choosing words that “give grace.”
3. A friend confronted me about my “filter.” A needed correction. Different expression.
“…if somebody is said to have "no filter" then they have a tendency to speak their mind more than would be socially acceptable and thus are often perceived as being rude.” [quora.com]
4. I hate it when I allow ungracious words out of my mouth; those who hear them hate it even more. I try to check it, but my filter can use some work. Many of you do, too.