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Dealing with Difficult People

Dear Friends,

Someone once said “God does not demand of me that I accomplish wonderful things. He does demand of me that I strive for excellence in my relationships”. Jesus made it so clear that as his follower’s love and kindness are to be what we are known for. Paul said that relational qualities are the proof of spiritual life and growth.

Gal 5:22-24  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

We are to have crucified all that is unlike this fruit but this is rare.  Religious people are often seen as less gracious. this is so common that Christian leaders, as well as others, are asking “why are Christians so mean?”  Often, Church folks imagine that thinking they are right gives them a license to be mean. Does it not seem strange that His most passionate self-identified followers don’t believe His word?

Mat 5:38-48  “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies. How much more should we love other believers even if we see some things differently?  We all have difficult people in our lives. We are commanded to love them.  This Sunday we will learn what Jesus says about “DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE “  I really want you to hear this and I can’t wait to share it.

Blessings,
Joe

STEPS TO PREPARE

Plan to come
Invite someone
Pray that God will bring insight.
Go to a small group and discuss this topic.

PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

  • What personal rights does Jesus call you to surrender in this passage?
  • Consider your family members. What rights do you need to release to foster unity among your relatives?
  • What underlying personal rights cause the most conflicts around you?

Mat 5:39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

1 Pe 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

  • Why is trading insults so such an easy habit to fall into?
  • Sarcastic insult humor is common in friendships and families: why does Jesus forbid it?

Mat 5:40-41 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.  Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”

  • Describe an example of someone who responded to injustice with intentional kindness?
  • Why is this so hard? Why is it so important?

Mat 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’Mat 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, How can loving your enemy help you love your friends even more?”

  • How can loving your enemy help you love your friends even more?

Mat 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

  • According to this passage?Why are loving difficult people so important?

Mat 5:46-47 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”

  • According to this passage? Describe ways you can show love to all people in practical ways?
Joe Martin

Senior Pastor - Click Here for full profile

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