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Sunday, January 17, 2016 am                                            Others 2016 Index

 

OTHERS 2016 (3)
Attitudes that Affect Others – Good

 Last week, we addressed a number of attitudes that can be detrimental to our influence with others.  This week we want to notice a handful of attitudes that will enhance our relationship with others.  These attitudes are descriptive of the Christian’s disposition in general, but in this lesson, we want to notice how they can help us lead to opportunities for good.  Namely we see a disposition that

 I.                    Proper attitudes

a.        Love & caring

                                                   i.      I put these together because Christian love is about caring.  We regularly emphasize our need to love others.  Whether we are addressing our love for our brethren – (John 13:34-35, 1 Peter 1:22); or for others – (Matthew 22:39, James 2:8 – love one another, etc.).

                                                  ii.      This love is more than a feeling one has.  It is an ATTITUDE that acts on behalf of others (hence the definition of agape love - caring enough to sacrifice for what is best).

                                                iii.      This love is best demonstrated by Jesus who gave Himself for us on the cross – John 15:13, 1 John 3:16, Ephesians 5:2.

It is seen in the concern of Paul for brethren everywhere.

                                                iv.      Having a genuine love and concern for others can open doors of opportunity to teach and influence.  It can cause you to look for opportunities to share the gospel and act like a Christian.  It can cause you to sacrifice because you do care.   It can keep you FROM doing or saying things that might cause irreparable damage. 

                                                  v.      People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

b.       Compassion, mercy

                                                   i.      Compassion – sympathetic pity and concern for others who are suffering or facing misfortunes.  As Christians, we need to have a compassionate attitude. 

                                                  ii.      There is no better example of compassion than Jesus Himself.    Matt. 9:36, 14:14 – He was moved with compassion.  He demonstrated it on so many occasions – whether it was healing the needy (Luke 7:13), tending to physical needs of others or even in His teaching (Luke 10:33 – the good Samaritan, Luke 15:20 – the father of the prodigal), including His pity for sinners (Matt. 9:36-38 – he called for His disciples to pray the Lord of harvest send forth laborers, etc.)  He was accused of associating with sinners often (Luke 15:1-2, 19:7, Matt. 9:10-11, 11:19) probably because He didn’t avoid the “undesirables” of society, but was compassionate. 

                                                iii.      As Christians we need to be compassionate – 1 Pet. 3:8 – be of one mind, having compassion for one another… 
How do feel about the needy around us – the homeless, those with broken lives and hearts, etc?  And not just brethren, but those of the world!  
James 1:27 states that pure and undefiled religion is to help the needy.  James 2:14-17 tells us this is one way we demonstrate our faith.
Jude 22 calls for us to have compassion in trying to teach others.
Romans 12:8, speaking of whatever abilities we have, calls for us to show mercy with cheerfulness. 

                                                iv.      When we care about others we will become compassionate to their needs.   Spiritually, when we see the plight of the lost, it ought to bother us.  When we see brethren or others suffering or struggling, we ought to desire to help them in whatever way we can.  When we see those without dealing with things we the ability to help with, we can do much good.

c.        Kindness

                                                   i.      Speaks of one who has a gentle, warm-hearted and considerate disposition toward others.   He treats others in a respectful and pleasant way.  He is NOT hateful or cruel.

                                                  ii.      One of the ways God is described is toward us is through kindness – Titus 2:4
On Malta, after a shipwreck, the natives showed “unusual kindness” to Paul and the others (Acts 28:2)

                                                iii.      We need to be kind –
Proverbs 19:22, “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.
1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us that love suffers long and is kind.
It is a fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
Ephesians 4:32 calls for us to be kind to one another – it solves many problems.

                                                iv.      Kindness is a universal language.  When we treat others with kindness it can open doors.  It can also make or change someone’s day for the better.  It makes you desirable to be around.

d.       Joyful

                                                   i.      Joyful is a word associated with happiness or gladness.  It does not always mean that everything is without trouble, but you have an upbeat attitude and find good and hope in the situation.  

                                                  ii.      It is a quality of the kingdom of heaven - Romans 14:17 (with righteousness and peace)

                                                iii.      After conversions there was great joy – Acts 8:8 (Samaria), 13:52 – Antioch,  15:3 as Paul and Barnabas spoke of how Gentiles had been converted there was great joy, etc.

Even after troubling times we read of joyful attitudes – Acts 16:25 – Paul and Silas in prison in Philippi singing and praying to God.  Acts 5:41 – after the apostles had been arrested, beaten and threatened by the Council, they departed, “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
2 Corinthians 6:5 Paul notes that while at times he was sorrowful, yet he was always rejoicing.

                                                iv.      Many passages call for us to be joyful - Galatians 5:22 – a fruit of the Spirit
Phil. 1:4 – with joy Paul prayed for the brethren
Phil. 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always…
Romans 12:15, concerning our brethren we rejoice with them

                                                  v.      One who is joyful is not going to be complaining about everything.  He is always happy and pleasant to be around.  Others can be positively influenced as they see you deal with problems while maintaining a joyful attitude.  They might even be encouraged to have that same attitude (cf. Philippians 1:12-14 – Paul’s demeanor being imprisoned caused others to be confident and bold).  A dour attitude would be of no help to others. 

e.       Meekness, humility –

                                                   i.      One who shows a mild and gentle nature.  He is not seeking confrontation.  He is not easily provoked or irritated.  He is one not seeking to always assert his will and interests ahead of others.  In the Bible, it is related to one who is humble.  It is quality present in one who is loving, caring, compassionate, kind and joyful. 
NOTE: while the word is somewhat misunderstood in our English language, it does not imply weakness or cowardice.  Instead, it is as one defined it, “strength under control”.

                                                  ii.      Moses was known for his meekness – Numbers 12:3 tells us he was very humble.
Jesus described Himself as meek (gentle) and lowly of heart – Matthew 11:29, 2 Cor. 10:1

                                                iii.      Titus 3:1-2 – gentle, showing all humility to all men.
Galatians 5:23- it too is a fruit of the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:15 – in defending our hope, we do so with meekness and fear
Matthew 5:5, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  A statement that means those of mild disposition can win over the world (or your neighbor) – as opposed to one who is quick-tempered and easily provoked.
With meekness (gentleness ) we go to a brother overtaken in trespass (Gal. 6:1)
Even addressing those in error we are to show gentleness and humility – 2 Timothy 2:24-26

                                                iv.      Just as pride and arrogance can turn people off, a gentle and humble attitude can put others at ease and even cause them to want to be around you.   In fact, many of the verses just mentioned demonstrate how meekness is related to our interaction with others.
In a world where aggressiveness and egotism seems to be the flavor of the day, one with a meek disposition can be refreshing.

f.         Patience and longsuffering

                                                   i.      Patience means to remain calm and controlled while you are waiting.  Longsuffering is patience even in the face of troubles.  It means to bear long with others. 

                                                  ii.      Longsuffering is an attribute of God – 2 Peter 3:9, 15 – honestly, it is the reason we are still here in spite of the ungodliness around us.  It is the reason we have hope.
Paul demonstrated long-suffering in his life.  He endured many things, yet he never gave up (i.e. 2 Corinthians 11:23-30, 2 Timothy 3:10)

                                                iii.      Another fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23, and a “Christian grace” – 2 Peter 1:5-7.
1 Corinthians 13:4 – love suffers long
Colossians 1:11, 3:12 both describe this attitude. 
2 Timothy 4:2 – as preachers preach, we must display longsuffering.

                                                iv.      Another longed for quality.  This is an attitude that definitely affects others as we remain in control in our dealings with them and with life.  It can keep us from reaching rash conclusions (without all the facts).   It can keep us from losing our temper.  It can keep churches intact and brethren at peace.
Think of the example we set when we maintain patience in doing something or when others treat us badly.  Think of the problems with others we prevent because we don’t respond in haste. (James 1:19)

 

In Matthew 5:16 we are told to let our lights so shine that through our works God will be glorified.  That begins with our attitudes.  Virtually every attitude we have affects others in one way or another.  In this lesson we have noticed a few attitudes that will positively affect others.  (Next week we want to examine a few more.) 

Our goal in this is to call for an examination of how we are maturing in Him.  A good indicator of genuine spiritual growth is when we develop these godly attitudes and when we overcome the ungodly ones.   Where do you stand in God’s eyes?