This sermon – Kingdom People and Interpersonal Relations – was originally preached 2013.09.29 by Ivan Weaver.
Scriptures used: Mathew 7:1-12, Mathew 5, Romans 2:1, Romans 14:4, James 4:12, Romans 13, Romans 2:11, Hebrews, 1 Peter 3:7.
Jesus is again dealing with attitudes. As we know attitudes sooner or later turn into actions. It is important to have the character traits that Jesus laid out for us in Mathew 5.
The verse here are not speaking about discernment. We need to be discerning of the characters of the other, but we dare not judge and condemn people.
This is a commandment. It’s fairly simple and straight forward. “Judge not – don’t do it!”
We do need to judge whether we ourselves are being a stumbling block to others. It is clear that a matter of judicial condemnation belongs to God alone. God is the final judge and we need to surrender these things to Him. He is the only one who can judge the motives of people and never be wrong. We cannot do that.
All of us are tainted with some types of biases. We need to recognize this. Our attitudes and actions are affected by these biases, whether we like it or not.
How often have we been wrong in our preconceived ideas about others? First impressions? Of course if we are honest we are often wrong with how we first feel about people. This is often because of the biases that we carry.
The character of discernment on the other hand is slow, deliberate, patient, and listens a lot. These are character traits that we need to develop if we are going to have healthy interpersonal relationships with others.
We also see here the divine law of sowing and reaping. The fact is that the things we put out will come back to us. We are told here that the way that we judge other people will affect the way we are ultimately judged.
Verse 3 tells us about the inconsistencies that we often have to deal with. Consistency is important if we are going to help others. This alerts us to the fact that it is often easier to notice the shortcomings of others than it is to notice our own shortcomings.
How can we help those around us if we are not doing well ourselves.
A person who is more critical of others than he is of himself often creates more problems than he is able to solve.
Critical suspicious people are trouble with a capital T, they sooner or later will wreck a church.
When we find an inconsistency in our own lives while we are trying to help others we must take care of the problem in our lives before we can help our brethren.
In verse 16 we see that we are not called to cut down the trees. We may inspect the fruit, but the tree itself is not ours to condemn.
Our zeal against sin must be guided by the Holy Spirit. We cause problems when we jump at each opportunity to condemn someone of their sin. A haughty attitude will seriously jeopardize our ability to help others.
How we approach God is important. Admitting that we don’t have what it takes. We come and we seek and we knock.
A person who is seeking is ready to receive instruction. They are actively looking for something and ready to hear an answer.
We typically respect people when we knock on their doors. We manifest this same attitude towards God, but we also need to have this same respect for our brothers and sisters… everyone we meet.
We have a responsibility as kingdom people to have a reverence for God.
Success in prayer is directly related to our attitude towards God. It is also indirectly related to our attitudes towards others.
The secret to helping our attitudes towards others is to pray for them.
The depth of our prayer life and the breadth of our interpersonal relationships are directly related. If we lack in our prayerful attitudes we will limit our ability to relate to others.
Interpersonal relationships are often hurt by what we are trying to give or tell others. We may be right in what we are trying to present them, but if we aren’t approaching this whole thing with a prayerful attitude the truth that we are sharing will not be digestible.
There is a direct relationship between interposal relationships and how much God is able to bless us. God wants to bless us. Will we get in his way?
If we aren’t willing to give others the benefit of the doubt we should not expect it when we need the benefit of the doubt.
When we fail to consider the golden rule we tend to become ego centric because we are zeroing in on ourselves.
Take the truth of Jesus and dare to make applications directly to our lives.
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