How to relate to people wisely
Why do you need to get along with people?
Every day you encounter many different kinds of people. Some are very delightful. Some are very difficult. Some of them are inspiring. Some of them are irritating, fascinating, intimidating. The fact is, a lot of the problems we have in life are because of personality conflicts. Therefore, it's very important that we learn how to get along with other people.
How do we relate wisely to other people?
James 3:18 is the key verse, "And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness."
James says, every day in every relationship, you're planting seeds. Seeds of anger, jealousy, peace, confidence, insecurity, many different kinds of seeds. So you will inevitable reap in your relationships. How can I plant seeds of peace? We need to learn how to be wise in the way we act toward people.
James says wisdom is a lifestyle:
James 3:13, "Who is wise and understanding among you. Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom."
Wisdom has everything to do with your relationships and your character. It's a matter of how you live with your life.
How can I know if I'm wise in how I relate toward people? James in 3:17, lists the characteristics of wise people. "But wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
1. IF I'M WISE I WILL BE GENUINE.
"The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure..."
Pure means uncorrupted, authentic, genuine. If I'm really genuine, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm not going to cheat you, I'm not going to manipulate you, I'm not going to be deceitful. I'll be a person of integrity. A person of integrity is not afraid of being found out because he doesn't say one thing to one group and something else to another group. If you are deceitful, eventually you're going to slip up. All relationships are built on trust and respect. If you break trust, you break relationships. However, if I am wise I will be genuine.
2. IF I AM WISE I WILL NOT ANTAGONIZE YOUR ANGER.
"Wisdom is peace loving."
I won't make you angry. Wise people work at maintaining harmony. They're not always looking for a fight. Proverbs 20:3 "Any fool can start arguments. The wise thing is to stay out of them."
Three things that cause arguments. If you're wise you'll avoid these:
1. Comparing. "You're just like ...", "Why can't you be like ...", "When I was your age...". If you odo this, you're asking for a fight. "My first husband..." 2 Corinthians 10:12 says it's unwise to compare.
2. Condemning. "It's all your fault", "You should be ashamed." You lay on the guilt. "You always", "You never", "You ought to", "You should...", "You shouldn't..." Someone said, "You can bury a marriage with a lot of little digs."
3. Contradicting. How do you like to be interrupted in the middle of a sentence? It's irritating. James says, “If you are wise you don't sweat the small stuff.” Some things are just not worth the fight. Wisdom is peace loving.
3. I WON'T MINIMIZE YOUR FEELINGS.
"Wisdom is considerate"
"considerate" means "mindful of the feelings of others". There is a common mistake that if I don't feel the way you feel then your feelings must be invalid or illogical or irrational or silly. If I'm wise I will not minimize your feelings. I don't have to accept them but I can understand them. Proverbs 15:4 "Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit." James says if I'm wise in relationships I will not minimize your feelings. I'll be considerate.
4. I WON'T CRITICIZE YOUR DECISIONS/SUGGESTIONS.
"Wisdom is submissive".
A wise person can learn from anybody. He's not defensive. He's open to reason. He's not stubborn. He's willing to listen and learn. The word submissive there really means reasonable, willing to listen, willing to be open to ideas and suggestions. Are you a reasonable person? Can your kids reason with you? The Bible says if you're wise, you're reasonable. You're open to suggestions. Proverbs 12:15 "A fool thinks he needs no advice. A wise man listens to others."
5. IF I'M WISE I WON'T EMPHASIZE YOUR MISTAKES.
"Wisdom is full of mercy and good fruit."
Wisdom is full of mercy. I won't emphasize your mistakes. Do you ever let people go, or do you keep hounding them about their past mistakes? "Remember the time you did..." You're always holding on and bringing up the past for leverage. That's dumb. If I'm wise, I won't emphasize your mistake. I'll be full of mercy. I'll give you what you need, not what you deserve. Proverbs 17:9 "Love forgets mistakes. Nagging about them parts even the best of friends."
6. IF I'M WISE, I WON'T DISGUISE MY OWN WEAKNESSES.
"Wisdom is impartial and sincere."
A mark of a wise person is they don't try to hide and disguise their own weaknesses. James says if you're smart and wise, you're not phoney. You don't wear masks and try to be something you're not. Real wise people are honest and open. Proverbs 28:13 "You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins." It's dumb to pretend that you're perfect, that you've got it all together because nobody does.
How do I get wisdom?
Knowledge comes from education. Wisdom comes from God. To get knowledge you look around. To get wisdom you look up. Knowledge comes from reason. Wisdom comes from revelation. Knowledge is something you learn. Wisdom is a gift.
James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God."
Wisdom is a gift from God. "Ask of God who gives generously." He loves to give.
Colossians 2:3 "The secret is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all God's treasures of wisdom."
If you want God's wisdom get Jesus in your life. You invite Him into you life and say, "Christ, think Your thoughts through my mind and say Your words through my mouth. Help people through my hands. Love people with my heart. And put Your wisdom in my mind."