Summary: This is so contrary to our nature, that not many practice it. Just make sure you do!
How to Deal with Difficult People, pt. 2
vv. 1-2 Relationship w/ God
vv. 3-13 Relationship w/ believers
vv. 14-21 Relationship w/ unbelievers in general, and difficult people in particular...when they’re mad, glad, or sad.
1. Treat them with kindness [vv. 14-15]
2. Treat them with meekness [v. 16]
• Avoid partiality
’same mind one toward another’ = impartiality = treating everyone the same, regardless of who they are [financial standing / social standing / affluence or lack thereof]
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
’Target Evangelism’ = focusing on specific groups. The Bible way is targeting everyone! We don’t avoid the rich, but we don’t cater to them either, and we’re not surprised when it is the poor, and those who realize they are sick, who respond.
I like the fact that we are a people’s church where the ground is level...there’s a lot of blue collars and we all smell like ADM. Everybody is somebody and nobody is anybody.
But in our world it’s easy to get sucked into the mindset of judging by appearance. We all do it, don’t we? Ever had a hard time seeing past the nose ring, pierced tongue, or tattoos? Employers can’t see past it...but does that person have a soul? Are they a sinner in need of a Savior?
In school we had cliques:
rich kids/snobs...we were jealous of them!
jocks...I tried to be one of them.
indians/mexicans/honkies like me!
There’s only one race. And we’re all sinners, all special needs, and we all deserve a chance. We are supposed to be of the same mind one toward another.
Hidden cameras show how beautiful people get better treatment than others. Now, I love her, but it’s not fair for my wife always get preferential treatment!
ill.--they sent a homely woman to a group of men, asking for directions to a store. They pointed her toward it and turned their backs. They sent a gorgeous woman and these guys dropped everything, and fought over who would carry her stuff for her!
1 in 3 are good looking...so look right and left, and if it’s not them, it must be you!
Remember part 1...this isn’t just about getting along. It’s about making a positive impact on an unbeliever so they will get saved.
Many difficult people are just the result of being mistreated, neglected, and put down by so many for so long that they have become defensive. Hurt people hurt people. We can show Christ’s love and have quite an impact just by being nice and giving equal treatment to them.
ill.--a certain beggar walked up to a man on the street and asked for a dollar so he could eat something. He wanted to help but had nothing on him. "Sir, I’m sorry, but I don’t have a penny on me." The beggar replied, "That’s ok, you have already given me more than anyone else today...attention, and you called me sir!"
• Avoid haughtiness
’mind not high things’
Don’t have an over inflated opinion of yourself. [Usain Bolt!]
Is low self esteem really our problem, or is it pride?
I don’t know how many truly great preachers there are in this world, but the total number is likely one less than I think!
A holier than thou attitude is a massive turn off to the lost. You’re no better than a lost person...you’ve simply experienced the wonderful grace of Jesus! Christians aren’t perfect...just forgiven.
v. 16 ’condescend’ does not mean to participate in their sins. We have been duped into believing that we will win their respect by acting like them...or make them feel more comfortable by showing we’re ’real’. We don’t win respect that way, we lose it. They are watching us, not to see if we are real people, but if we are real Christians. I think they are hoping to be pleasantly surprised...but so often they are sadly mistaken.
You don’t act/dress/talk like the world to win the world.