Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Inconvenience Of People

So, you say you like people. Then why all the complaining? You say you are a people person. Do you judge that by your likes on FaceBook, followers on Twitter or messages in your inbox on Tumblr? What are you like face to face, with the people you see on the bus each morning or the classmate you sit beside but have never spoken to?

How we see and react to people in our life depends on the purpose you see for them. Are they there for your interest, just so you can get whatever you need out of them? Do you use the ones that are useful and tolerate the rest? Maybe tolerate is too generous a word. Perhaps ignore would be better.

Sometimes people are inconvenient. Sometimes they interrupt our day, our plans, our goals. Sometimes we have people in our lives who only take, they never give back, never contribute. Sometimes they smell, look bad and are total mess ups. Sometimes they are abusive, demanding beyond our ability to respond. Sometimes they are our enemy. Whatever they are to us, there is one important thing to remember: They are loved by God.

We have to rise above our perceptions, emotions and opinions of people. We have to get above our "flesh" response to people. In order for us to love our neighbour as ourself (which is God's command not a suggestion) we need to see them as God sees them to understand their worth. A good way to allow the Holy Spirit to do this in us is to cultivate a proper attitude that the Spirit can work with.

Ask yourself what great desire you have for people. You are a servant of the eternal King, a citizen of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, left in this place that serves no king but the king of self. How are you going to serve the enemy of God, those who are in rebellion to the King, those who even refuse to acknowledge his existence? How are you going to serve such a great host of haters? Attitude matters and attitude begins with desire. What do you desire for them?

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17)

Our great desire should be that everyone we know would know Jesus and those who already know him would know him better. That could come in the form of teaching and preaching but the most effective way of revealing Jesus is through friendship. Can you become friends with someone who hates you? It doesn't matter their attitude to you. What matters is your attitude to them. If you saw every person you met as a friend your attitude would take a good step forward and the Spirit can use that.

Remember, you don't save anyone. The Spirit of God is responsible for salvation but he uses our actions, words, love and friendship as tools for conviction. Through us he brings conviction on the hearts of the people we invite into our lives. Our goal in such friendships should never be what we can get out of it but what we have to contribute to them. Of course, the greatest thing we have to offer is Jesus so our goal for each relationship, strong and weak, is that people would come to know Jesus.

So what are you asking God for on behalf of these people? Paul asked for wisdom and revelation for the Ephesians so they would know Jesus better. Maybe you need to stop asking God for earthly things for your friends and start asking for revelation. What greater thing to pray for a person than that they would receive a personal revelation of the love of Jesus Christ. This is what you are here for. This is the reason these people are in your life. It's time to move, live and create in that purpose. Ask the Spirit. He will provide whatever you lack for fulfilling your purpose.

No comments: