Man, I Hate That Guy!
What do they need to know? (Information)
Just because I do not like what someone tells me about myself does not mean there is not truth in it
Why do they need to know it? (Motivation)
If I become emotional or even angry during a tough conversation I can completely miss the truth in the conversation and maybe even miss hearing from God
What do they need to do? (Application)
Stop becoming defensive or angry but listen in spite of emotion and human frailty to find the truth present. This is Spiritual Maturity
Why do they need to do it? (Inspiration)
Truth that is acted upon brings growth and maturity. If I am willing to listen objectively to all, looking for any truth in tough conversations, then I may find truth that can help me grow stronger, become a better person and become more like Christ
What can I do to help them remember? (Reiteration)
A simple directive: Find the Truth
A bucket of muck that has a hidden capsule that contains $5. If they are willing to dig for just a penny of truth, they may find something more valuable
Defining a tough conversation
I find myself on the defensive, even angry at times, when someone tells me something about myself that is negative and that I do not want to hear.
Find the Truth
Maybe you have found your self on the defensive, maybe even angry, when someone tells you something negative about yourself?
It comes in different forms:
Constructive Criticism - something that I am doing wrong
Unsolicited Advice - a better way to do what I am doing
An Observation - helpful information
Call it what you want, many times we react the same way and it seems to be worse the closer the person is to us.
Examples: spouse; mom or dad; brother or sister; son or daughter; co-worker; friend
Can God speak to us through other people?
If yes, then why do we find it so difficult to stop and listen when someone has a tough conversation with us?
Do we stop and think, “God may be sharing something with us especially when we don’t want to hear it?
How much growth have we delayed or missed all together because we were unwilling to find or recognize the truth in a tough conversation?
The good news is this is a very old problem that God has dealt with many times going all the way back to the old Testament.
Background: Kings 22:1-7
Isreal has been at peace for 3 years with Syria.
The king of Isreal asks the King Judah to help him to take back a piece of land from the Syrians, Ramoth-gilead
The kingdom has been split into the tribe of Juda and the rest of the tribes of Isreal, just called Isreal)
The kings decide that they will take back this land but first they want to know if God will help then (is this God’s will?)
Jehoshaphat seeks confirmation from the Lord that this is the right thing to do.
All the prophets agree with the Kings and confirm victory
But Jehoshaphat is uneasy so he asks if there is yet another prophet of the Lord they could ask.
The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
The king is Ahab
How many times he had missed what God wanted to tell him by not listening to this prophet, Micaiah?
How many times do we listen to the advice of those that agree with us and ignore or even become angry with those that disagree with us?
Ultimately, the King ignores the prophet, Micaiah and even has him thrown on prison
Connect this to us being unwilling to find the truth in a tough conversation, becoming emotional or avoiding them all together
A bucket of muck and a penny
If we are willing to listen, even when it is tough, we may find truth that we would never see in an easy conversation
Find the Truth
For the next two weeks, be willing to listen for the truth in what is said before reacting to what is said.
Remove the emotion
Find the Truth
Think about the growth that would happen in our lives if we allowed the truth to transcend our emotional frailty and immaturity?
How stronger of a Christian man would I be if I looked for God to speak to me though others?
What kind of church would we for people that do not know the Lord to come to if we actually allowed others to speak truth into our lives.