You Aren’t From Around Here Are You?

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Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I was watching a show on Amazon Video the other day that was filmed in a small town in Kentucky. In the series, the people on the show were portraying Kentucky mountain folks.  The southern accent was very prominent, and actually pretty accurate of the south.  In one of the series there was a man from up north that came into town on business with the locals, both bad guys.  I had to laugh as I watched this episode.   In the first series the northerner starred in, he would say over and over again how he could not understand the local man.  In the second series he starred in, the northerner said he needed google translate to help him understand what the local man was saying.

It reminded me of how we should speak as Christians.  Our language should change after we are saved.  People who are not saved should not understand what we say because we don’t talk like them.  John 8:47 says “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”  Non-Christians may not understand the things of God but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about God.  We should talk about Him so much that they want to know what we are saying.  In the show, even though the man did not understand what the locals were saying, he really wanted to understand them.  His frustration made him work harder to figure out what they were saying.

When we are Christians the way we talk to others is different.  Those who are not saved may not understand the way we talk to each other.  Colossians 4:6 ESV Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  We should not loose our cool with other people, christian or not.

Matthew 15:11 ESV says “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  What words are coming out of your  mouth?  I heard a sermon by Joel Osteen and he was talking about the different sins people struggled with.  He specifically mentioned people in his life who struggled with swearing.  I hear so many christians swearing.  I have watched the faces of lost people when they hear a christian swear.  It is a look of confusion.  Even they do not understand how a christian can so freely swear.  

Ephesians 5:4 ESV says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  The bible is full of scripture that tells us how we should talk once we become saved.  Maybe you don’t know “churchy talk” but we all need to learn God talk.  How do we do that?  By reading His read.  Churchy talk is man talk.  God talk is His language and there are blessings for His children who use God talk.

I am not sure if there is google translate for the bible, however there are many tools available to you to make reading the bible easier.  There are many different versions of the bible.  Check them out online before you buy one.  Here are a few online resources where you can read a verse in many different versions.  If you keep going to a particular version then maybe that is the one you should buy.

http://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/

https://www.bible.com/

https://www.youversion.com/

Each of these sites also have a commentaries by several people.  If you read something and you don’t understand it, no matter which version you read, then you can read the commentary, which explains the text you just read.

In Joels sermon he stated that we all deal with our own sin.  For him, it was impatience while for someone else it was their words, swearing.  This isn’t a devotional to make you feel bad about swearing.  The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Maybe you are saying that you can’t change your language.  Those old ways just won’t go away so how do you change?  Philippians 4:13  (GW) I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  With God’s help thats how.  YOU CAN DO.  Don’t stop trying.

Just in case no one has told you this today….God loves you, wherever you are in your walk with Him!

Loving Difficult People

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Matthew 5:46 ESV For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Luke 6:32 ESV “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
A difficult person may be one who is condescending, argumentative, belligerent, selfish, flippant, obtuse, or simply rude. Difficult people seem to know just how to “push one’s buttons” and stir up trouble. Dealing with difficult people becomes an exercise in patience, love, and grace.
I think we all have or are currently dealing with a difficult person. It can be frustrating, annoying and down right hard to be a Christian in the face of this adversity. Jesus never displayed an attitude of harsh superiority or dismissive pride; rather, He showed authority under control. So we should strive to follow His example.
Here are a few suggestions on ways to deal with a difficult person:
1) It is important to determine if you are dealing with a Christian or a lost person. If they are lost they will not understand the word of God, which is our instruction book on life. John 8:47 (GW) says The person who belongs to God understands what God says. You don’t understand because you don’t belong to God.” (We are going to assume for this post that they are Christians)
2) Sometimes, the answer is to be silent. Don’t respond. Ignore them. Their intent may be to push you over the edge to get you to behave in a way that is not appropriate. They may then use your bad behavior against you. So you may need to zip it! Proverbs 12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
3) Sometimes you need to confront the issue with them with love and grace. Matthew 18:15 ESV “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
4) Don’t argue with them. A difficult person is really not looking for a resolution to their problems. They are looking for a quarrel. Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
5) If you know in advance that you are going to have to deal with this person, ask for the Holy Spirit to intervene. John 16:13 (GW)When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into the full truth. He won’t speak on his own. He will speak what he hears and will tell you about things to come.
6) Ask questions rather than make statements. We rarely make it a point to ask other people questions. In using questions frequently, I think Jesus is modeling the behavior of a good communicator, one who cares about the other person enough to engage with them and challenge them. Even, and perhaps especially, when they are being difficult.
7) Pray for them and love them not their sin. God will be honored and our hearts will find deeper satisfaction as we seek to love people just as Christ loved us when we were his enemies. Matthew 5:44 ESV But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
8) Pray for your own heart. 2 Corinthians 13:5a Examine yourselves
Difficult people have been around forever and will continue to be here as long as the world is standing. They’re everywhere: on the road, at work, in the grocery line, at church and even in our own family. Some people are truly damaged, and that damage often spills over and touches others. It may be that their wounds will not be healed in this lifetime, which means that we have to accept the reality and the limitations of who they are.