03012015HowToTellWhetherIAmTheDifficultPersonDonRuhl

How to Tell Whether I Am the Difficult Person 

We know when others are difficult, but do we know when we are difficult?

First Corinthians 13.4–8a

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 22, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Prelude

  1. Last month we learned how to deal with difficult people. 
  2. What if we are the difficult ones? 
    1. Can I know whether I am the difficult one?
    2. What shall we do about it?

Persuasion

  1. First Corinthians 13.4–8a – Replace “love” with your name

    4 [Don] suffers long and is kind; [Don] does not envy; [Don] does not parade [himself], [Don] is not puffed up; 5 [Don] does not behave rudely, [Don] does not seek its own, [Don] is not provoked, [Don] thinks no evil; 6 [Don] does not rejoice in iniquity, but [Don] rejoices in the truth; 7 [Don] bears all things, [Don] believes all things, [Don] hopes all things, [Don] endures all things. 8 [Don] never fails… (1Co 134–8a).
  2. Psalm 139.23–24 – Ask God to show you

    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    Try me, and know my anxieties;
    24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
    And lead me in the way everlasting.
    (Psa 139.23–24)

    1. Will God answer such a prayer?
    2. Yes, He will:
      1. He is the One who teaches us to repent of wickedness.
      2. He is the One whose will our prayers must consider.
      3. Therefore, if we pray for Him to show us whether we are difficult,
        1. He will do it, because
        2. it is His will and
        3. He wants us to repent of any and all evil within us.
  3. Observe how others react to you 
    1. We often do not see ourselves as others see us.
    2. We are biased for ourselves,

      25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
      But its end is the way of death.
      (Pro 16.25)

      6 Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
      But who can find a faithful man?
      (Pro 20.6)

  4. Listen to the Book of Proverbs 
  5. Watch Jesus and the Pharisees 
    1. As you watch them in action,
    2. do you find yourself imitating Jesus or the Pharisees?
  6. Do you exhibit the works of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit? 
    1. Galatians 5.19–23 Your name for “the flesh” and “the Spirit”
  7. Does love top a list of godly characteristics in your life? 
    1. Colossians 3.12–14
  8. Do you exhibit wisdom and understanding? 
    1. James 5.13–18
  9. Do you boast in your oddness, difficult nature, uncooperative spirit, et al.? 
  10. Can you admit you are wrong? 
    1. Do you blame others for your wrong?
    2. Do you acknowledge faults, but claim that others made you do what you did?