With so many personalities, mood swings and perspectives it becomes very difficult for us to adapt to others. There has got to be a way–an effective way. Jesus showed us the way with 12, so let’s evaluate that as a start. Then make our analysis on the people factor for different folks!
“When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?” He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
In this passage we see that Jesus knew beforehand that one of the twelve was going to betray Him. With that in mind, He still allowed all of them at the table to partake of the Holy Communion. This was the meal before Jesus was going to be taken and led to the crucifixion. This was a very important meal for Him. He was enjoying the last precious moments with those He shared with for three years. In three years He built a relationship with each of these men. In three years He had grown to care for these men. In three years He provided for these men. In three years He cleaned up after these men. In three years He shared specific detail with these men. In three years He taught these men words to live by for victory. Then in one moment, He was left alone.
“But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.”
We know what Jesus did here, but the question is…What would YOU do? When people hurt us, betray us, abandon us, lie to us, steal from us, talk bad about us or offend us–what do we do? How do we act? How do we treat them? Can we have the strength to sit down in a room with them and share a meal or share a word.
Well the truth is in a church setting like His, there aren’t many that can do that. They sit in the pews angry, upset, hurt and frustrated. They avoid them. They don’t speak with them or they continue on hearing the sermon just for them with random shouts of “AMEN” and “HALLELUJAH.”
Why can’t we just get along? Why can’t we learn to handle that moment of supper with an enemy. For just a moment this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate character and the Love of God. Yet we continue to hold onto our grudges, hatred and bitterness. What we don’t realize is that AS WE HOLD ONTO all those ill feelings–we aren’t really growing in the character of God. We are not following the “Beatitudes” that Jesus taught as a first sermon in Matthew Chapter 5. Where we walk in meekness, peace and purity of heart especially when it is cluttered with everything contrary.
We are so easy to point out the mess and evaluate the sincerity of someone based on their actions when you may have even done worse.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”
We are forgetting the sole purpose of why CHRIST died for us. He died for ungodly people and that includes YOU and ME. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. It is actually because God sent His Son that we have a gateway into heaven and a place of freedom. He took ALL of OUR sins, not just Susie Q’s! That blood was shed for ALL. That is the beautiful promise of redemption. That is His redemptive work. We can’t keep pointing our fingers. Why are we looking at the one sinner or seeing who is worse than the next? Let God do that…He said in His Word, LET the wheat grow with the tares [Matthew 13:30] for when the time comes, God will be the Judge.
Let us learn how to be around the different folks. We fulfill His word just by the law of love. Let’s learn how to respond to those differences. Even if they are bad, let us try our best. If space is needed, learn to still conduct yourself in a godly manner around those if the opportunity presents itself. Be calm, be collective and be courteous.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
If you find that you struggle in this area, keep this in prayer, read about it and practice how to work with the varied personalities. The bible shows you how and there are many other tools that you can use to help you to develop in your social skills for different folks. Give it a shot and if you don’t do so great, there will always be the next time to do it even better. Practice makes perfect.