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Sunday, January 24, 2016 am                                    Others Index 2016

 

OTHERS (4)
Attitudes that affect others – Good (2)

 

This year we are addressing the relationship of Christians to others.  This month we have been noticing some attitudes, both bad and good and how they affect our interaction with others.   We have noted how we need to avoid selfishness, bitterness, envy, being contentious & overly critical as well as the ill-tempered attitude.  Last week we discussed how we need to develop love & caring, compassion, kindness, joy, meekness and longsuffering.   Today we want to notice some more attitudes that will help us in our dealings with others. 

 I.                     Self-controlled & self-discipline

a.        At the foundation of everything we do is the way we handle ourselves.  Self-control is mastering your desires and passions.    As the LORD told Cain when his sacrifice was rejected, “So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”” (Genesis 4:6-7)

When we speak of self-control and self-discipline, they are related.   I see self-discipline as making yourself do what you need to do and self-control as not doing what you should not do. 

b.        Every sin we commit involves self-control in one way or another.

c.        The Bible speaks of self-control – it is a “fruit of the Spirit” - Galatians 5:22-23, and a part of the process that leads our faith to maturity (2 Peter 1:5-7).
It was Paul’s reasoning about self-control that prompted Felix to tremble – Acts 24:25
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 gives the analogy of an athlete as well as Paul disciplining his body
Romans 6:12-13 speaks of presenting our members as instruments of righteousness to God

d.       Self-control can prevent regret because of something we say or do to others.  It can keep us moving forward so that we will be more effective with others in the future.  It can cause us to do the unpleasant, but necessary things to help others.  It will help us to redeem our time and fulfill numerous commands we have in scripture (such as controlling the tongue, tec.)

 II.                    Alertness, soberness

a.         Alertness means being attentive or perceptive to what is going on around us.  It means that we are paying attention as we act or speak.   

b.       The NKJV, KJV doesn’t use the word alert, but it can be found in the NASB. 
The NKJV uses words like – Soberness, vigilance and watchfulness are used and portray the idea we are addressing here.

c.        Jesus warned His disciples to watch – Matthew 26:41 – lest they enter into temptation.
In sending them out, He said, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” – Matthew 10:16.

d.       The Bible speaks of alertness in passages like:
Romans 12:3 – calls for us to think humbly, but also to think soberly as God has dealt each of a measure of faith
1 Cor. 16:13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Eph. 5:15-16 – walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time.
1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 4:7, the end of all things is at hand, therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers
1 Peter 5:8, be sober and vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about…

e.       Alertness can keep us aware of our circumstance and help us deal with others – saying the right thing at time, etc.  finding opportunities, etc. 

 III.                  Tactfulness

a.        Tactful means to be careful in our conversation and conduct so as not to unnecessarily offend someone.  We sometimes use the word, diplomacy.  Again, the Bible doesn’t use these terms, but the principle is clearly taught

b.       When Joseph appeared before Pharaoh, he was tactful as he recommended what to do. (Genesis 41:33-46)
Paul was tactful as he wrote to Philemon about a delicate situation.

c.        Scriptures that call for tactfulness include:
As above – Matthew 10:16 – wise as serpents and harmless as doves & Ephesians 5:15-16
Proverbs 15:18 says, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.  Think of James 1:19 – be swift to hear and slow to speak.
Colossians 4:6 speaks of our speech being seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt…
Jude 22-23 – on some have compassion making a distinction…
1 Peter 3:15 – as we are ready to give an answer, we do so with meekness and fear – this implies a governed response – designed to accomplish the most good.

d.       When we care about others it will govern both what we say and how we say it.  We will realize that we need to be diplomatic.  AND this includes social media!!!!

 IV.                  Confidence

a.        Confidence means assurance or certainty.  NOT to be confused with arrogance, confidence means that we know what we are talking about or doing.

b.       The very last thing we read about Paul in Acts 28:31 is that he was in Rome, preaching the kingdom of God with all confidence.
In his final letter to Timothy he spoke with confidence – 2 Tim. 1:12, 4:7-8
NOTE: It is possible to be over-confident, which is why it must be coupled with humility.

c.        Confidence in the Bible is usually directed toward our trust in God and our salvation – 1 John 2:28 – confident of His appearing, 5:14 – as we pray
Romans 8:37-39 describes how we are more than conquerors and persuaded of our hope
Philippians 1:27-28 – we stand fast in one spirit and one – not in any way terrified by our adversaries.
Furthermore, we are NOT to live in doubt -
WHEN we have a confident attitude in spiritual things, it will likely be manifested in other areas of our life as well. 

d.       A confident attitude builds trust.  When people see that you genuinely believe what you are saying and doing, it can help in dealing with them, they are more like to respond positively.  Also confidence in others helps as well (this goes back to assuming the best).  Finally, you need a confident attitude in what you believe – and as you share that with others – 1 Peter 3:15

 V.                   Sincerity, genuineness

a.        Sincerity means without pretense or hypocrisy.  It means that you are genuine – authentic.

b.       Everything about the life a Christian is to be genuine and sincere.    Our lives are to be consistent.

c.        Paul, in 2 Corinthians 1:12 noted that his conduct among brethren (and everyone) was in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God.

d.       We are to put away all deceit and hypocrisy – 1 Peter 2:1,
 James 3:17 – the wisdom from above is without hypocrisy
Philippians 1:9-10, Paul prayed that these brethren be sincere and without offense

Ephesians 6:5 – bond-servants are to be obedient and serve in sincerity of heart, as to Christ.
1 John 3:18 – John calls for us to love, not merely in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth.

e.       Typically this is a trait that helps you with those you have greater influence over – those that know you.   This insincere lack credibility.  People notice those who are genuine and sincere.  It is also something that if you ever have opportunity to share your faith, must be there.

 VI.                  Responsibility

a.        Related to sincerity, the idea of responsibility is one who is accountable.  If you are responsible for something then you accept the consequences of your actions, both good and bad.  But this can also describe the disposition of one who can be counted upon to do what he is supposed to do, mainly because he takes his accountability seriously.    He is not living a flippant life or unreliable.  It also involves you do your share (as in the body) of a task.

b.       Jesus emphasized this in John 10:11-14 where He described Himself as the true shepherd who gives His life for the sheep, in contrast with the hireling who flees at the sight of trouble. 

c.        The Bible has much to say about responsibility.
The very first sin involved both Adam and Eve failing to take responsibility (Genesis 3:13-14).
The parable of the talents is about responsibility – each according to his ability (Matthew 25:14-30).   Based on this, someone once defined responsibility as: Ability + Opportunity = Responsibility.
Romans 14:12 – we shall each give an account to God (Heb. 4:13)
Matthew 5:37 - Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no,’ no.    This implies that you are accountable.
Luke 17:10 realizing that when we have all we can we are still unprofitable because it was our duty
1 Corinthians 4:2 – it is required of stewards that they be found faithful

d.       He holds himself accountable for his circumstances rather than blaming others or making other excuses.  He realizes that his decisions could involve others and acts responsibly because of it.  His accountability to God will prompt him to do what he can for others.

 VII.                Calmness

a.        Calmness means one whose state of mind is free of panic, agitation or disturbance.  He is in control even when others are frantic.    It is a quality of patience and restraint.  It is also associated with peace – as in the peace of soul Jesus offers us (Matthew 11:28-30)

b.       The ultimate example of calmness is Jesus stilling the winds and waters – Matthew 8:23-27.   

c.        Verses that imply calmness and control include:
Ephesians 4:26 – Be angry and do not sin. 
James 1:19 – be swift to hear and slow to speak, slow to anger.
Proverbs 14:30 says, “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bone.”  “sound heart” means a calmness of heart  (NASV says, “a tranquil heart”)
Proverbs 15:1, a soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger
Proverbs 17:27 says, “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.”
Philippians 4:6 – be anxious for nothing…let your request be made known to God.

d.       Will keep us from jumping to conclusions.  Our calmness can keep a situation from flaring up.  We can become the peacemakers in volatile situations.

 VIII.               Optimistic

a.        Optimism means the anticipation of a more favorable outlook on a given situation.  It is hopefulness and confidence that all will turn out for good. 
Last year we address optimism in a few lessons.  We will not revisit that subject other than to say we need to have an optimistic outlook on life. 

b.       If we have all the qualities we have been discussing today, we will be more likely to be hopeful as to the outcome of a given situation.

c.        This will clearly affect the attitude we have as we approach others – both in the affairs of this life AND more importantly in the affairs of the life to come.  

 

In this lesson, we have expanded the idea of proper attitudes.  We have included qualities or characteristics that might not be described specifically as attitudes, but they are certainly a reflection of a proper attitude and as they are developed, they will affect our attitude toward others. 

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 sampling of how this is so.    Let us strive to develop and live with attitudes that draw others closer to God rather than farther away.  Think about it.