Episode 089 | How to Handle Hard People
Whether you’re stuck together by biology, choice or a paycheck, navigating relationships with people who disagree with you can be tough. How should a Christian respond to people who people who don’t share your morality, beliefs or opinions? And how does that change when you’re related? Listen in as Pastor Matt prepares us all for the best part of the holidays.
See how to be involved with what Sandals Church is doing in India.
This Week's Topics
4:41 - You mentioned on episode 88 that the word "church" was translated incorrectly. How can we be certain that our translation or understanding of scripture is correct? If scripture has not been translated correctly can it be authoritative?
The church went through a thousand years of political domination and scholars were limited politically with how they could translate things, like the state of political correctness now. Over time we’ve discovered thousands of manuscripts all over the world that tell us we can trust the Bible. All of these manuscripts all over the world in multiple translations over multiple decades have striking similarities, because people were translating the word of God so there was a great emphasis of getting it right. ‘Church’ is is an acceptable translation if you understand that it doesn’t mean a building. Jesus isn’t calling us to a structure he’s calling us to congregate in his name.
13:39 - Sandals Church is sending 100 people to India. Are we helping them build a Sandals Church there or are they building their own church? And if we as a church are helping them what can we do to support them and will we be updated and their progress?
Many of our people who are going to those places have to do so secretly because they can be deported, imprisoned and in some cases killed. In many places in the world the Bible is not legal. There’s always ways to get involved. If you’re interested in learning more about what we’re doing in India you can check out sandalschurch.com/india and we’re working on new ways for you to get involved. We’d also encourage you to consider giving financial support to our missionaries to India.
17:41 - This weekend you shared the story in Mark 14 of the woman who poured out an expensive bottle of perfume onto Jesus. You mentioned that there are four separate versions of this story. What are they and how do they differ?
Matthew and Mark are very similar. Luke has different names, a different woman and a different situation. John’s story is about Mary the sister of Lazarus so it’s a completely different story. I believe they’re unique stories because Jesus said to the first woman that did it that people would remember that action forever. So the story got out that anointing Jesus’ head and feet is an appropriate way as a woman to worship and acknowledge him as a holy man. This is something that happened multiple times.
20:16 - How do I show people that I love them even though I don’t support their activities? Jesus was around prostitutes and people who didn’t think he was judging them but felt loved by him instead. How can I do the same and reach out to non-believers?
In our culture we don’t have any idea what judgment means. Judgment in the New Testament had physical connotations like being incarcerated, stoned or killed. It doesn’t mean don’t believe that things are right and wrong. Everybody judges and usually the people who say, ‘don’t judge me’ are the most judgmental. You can’t say, ‘don’t judge’ because that is a judgment. If you feel in your heart that it’s wrong to drink then you can’t violate your own conscience. We have to decide what’s moral and what’s preferential. Get in some relationships where you can get some feedback and ask, ‘do I come across as a judgmental’. If that’s the way you’re coming across, that’s not the spirit of Jesus. The spirit of Jesus is to love people and care for people.
25:36 - How can I, as a believer, still pray before my meal with my non-Christian friends while also being sensitive to the fact that prayer may not be a day to day occurrence in their lives? What is a useful strategy to be bold in this area while still maintaining an acknowledgement of who Christ is in my life?
Prayer is a great testimony and your friends are going to notice,but you don’t have to disrupt everybody by stopping to pray out loud. Instead you can take a moment of silence to thank God for your food and to be an example to your friends.
28:49 - You made a statement with "convicted" in the sermon this weekend. What exactly does “convicted” mean?
It means you feel a sense of guilt that is directed from God. Feeling convicted means that God is leading us to apologize and that’s called repentance. Repentance is the acknowledgement and the apology that you’ve done wrong and it is the movement away from what you’ve done wrong. You can’t apologize and keep doing it. Sin brings relational suffering to you, to God and to everyone else. Sin is always hurting someone and it grieves the Holy Spirit. Guilt is something that is dealt with through confession to one another.
33:34 - At my work there is a lesbian couple who are legally married. I’m unsure how I should react or really what to do with this knowledge. I haven’t been around very many homosexual people since becoming a Christian and any guidance would help.
It’s simple: Be nice, be loving, be a good co-worker and care for them. Be the best person you could possibly be for them. That’s what Jesus Christ wants you to be in their life. There’s going to be people all the time who don’t live or act like us. Homosexuality is one aspect among a multitude of things that the world isn’t going to agree with us on. We need to treat people in a loving and respectful way. Don’t be a chauvinist or have a ‘I’m better than you’ attitude, because you’re not. You don’t have to agree with people to be nice to them, but don’t do anything that you’re uncomfortable with.
47:04 - My great grandmother is 83 and is a complete atheist. She puts down God and talks very badly about Christianity. How can we learn to stand to be around someone who is so negative about something that you so strongly believe in?
As we age, the veneer of maturity begins to fade and who we really are shows up. A child will cry, pout and act immaturely because they only see the world according to themselves. If we don’t deal with those childlike issues that we’ve learned to mask and hide in early adulthood, it will come out as we age. Often times people hate God is because they’ve been hurt by a person or something happened. Ask if they were ever hurt by God or the church and be a good listener. All of us are going to experience great pain in life. How we view God will either deepen our relationship or we’ll fall away. We have to trust the goodness of God despite the badness of life and in the end we have to love God more than our family.
60:11 - I find it difficult when I see my parents settling in their faith and becoming complacent with sinful patterns like pornography. What advice do you have for adult children who strive to honor their parents but are also aware of sin they see being consistently committed in the their lives?
Pornography captivates people of all ages and there is nothing good about it. We’re supposed to honor nakedness and as Christians we believe there should be an area of privacy. That includes the act of sex. You’re parents are not in complacency, they are in sin. Sexual intimacy can’t solely be based on attraction, it must transition from attraction to appreciation because bodies change. Challenge them and pray that they would be attracted and appreciative toward each other. Porn diminishes attraction to your spouse and it takes away your appreciation for them. It robs you of the blessing of intimacy and sex. Things change but you need to continually be committed to each other.