Summary: We should to deal with others with skill and grace.
1. “The ability to avoid offense” & “sensitive perception”
2. “a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others.”
• That’s how the DICTIONARY DEFINES “TACT”
• The ability to deal with others with skill & grace.
• The Bible declares:
Prov 15.23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Prov 25.11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
Isa 50.4 "The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
AND SO It’s a bummer when you cross a tactless person’s path.
• Words spoken out of season! Unfit words, hurtful, thoughtless!
• And it’s even doubly bad when it happens in a church, among the family… the tactless words of a believer!
CHURCH IS THE PLACE where God’s grace flows. Where sinner’s lives are changed. Where hope is available, where love flourishes.
• It’s a place where believers are living SELFLESS lives.
• Selfless? Yes. Flip over to Philippians 2:1-4
Selfish Ambition is at the very core of fallen humanity.
• It describes the person who wants his way regardless of who else is hurt or stepped on.
• It’s the very fuel of fights & wars & division.
• It’s ugly to watch in the world, but is devastating in a church.
It’s a dastardly form of PRIDE…
• AN exaggerated opinion of self.
• PRIDE is the biggest barrier in being used of God.
• The more inflated our view of our self is, the less God can use.
Romans 12.3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
NOTE: Imagine what the church & Christian community would look like as we were consistently people of love & not agendas.
• Can you see the untapped power that could be unleashed?!
• Can you see how many lives could be changed?!
Love flows when we’re not competing. Love flows when we’re not talking down on someone.
• Love flows when we’re not trying to be anything or anybody but people wanting to please our Master…
NOTE: Selfish Ambition & conceit will ALWAYS BRING God’s work of salvation to a screeching halt! Paul says fulfill my joy…
BUT ESTEEMING OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELF… deals IT a fatal blow.
SO Paul says… LOOK OUT… keep your eyes open
• Be careful how you treat people.
• Maybe you’re in a bad mood… surrender.
• Maybe you’ve had a bad week, you’re upset… surrender.
• Maybe they don’t dress the way you dress, or look a certain way, or drive that car, or do this thing…
• God might have sent that person that is so different your way to test you, to put your love to the test.
Deut 8:2-3 "And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
• Will accept them? Will you help them? Will you receive them?
Jesus was all about receiving the different ones. The outcasts, the sinners, the hurting, the dying, the smelly, the needy.
• Since we are His church, His BODY here on earth, He is going to bring us those people and send us to those who need us the most
Pray FOR TACT from the Holy Spirit… sensitivity, humility.
• Paul came to Thessalonica & ministered carefully, tenderly.
• At times he was soft & gentle. Other times he was stern & firm.
Now at times that word comes GENTLY & SOFTLY.
I. (2:7-8) GENTLE MOTHER
1. (7-8) We were Gentle Among you.
a. The church, being full of new believers need a patient leader to nurse them on the Milk of the Word.
A NURSING MOM can only be that as the baby is in her arms, next to the heart.
• And that beautiful picture reminds us that a nursing mom imparts her own life to the child.