Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Should I Do If My Neighbor is a Jerk?

2 weeks ago = "The Christian obligation to your neighbor"
Scripture list = long and clear!!!  - do not defraud neighbor, judge your neighbor's family, do not hate your neighbor in your heart.
So..... Wisdom literature - Prob. 14:21 - not just in your proximity but anyone God brings in to your path.
           Jesus - Matt. 22:37-40 - Good Samaritan
           Apostles - Rom. 15:2

Sermon followed by "Yeah...But!!!:  and "What if..???"   OR
"what if my neighbor is a jerk?!" - and this means not just the person next door or in own community

Answer  1)  these words/rules/laws are numerous & primary.  (therefore, should not be easily dismissed, over-ruled) - Must start here - with the foundation - must love neighbor as self.

BUT  2)  they are not the only rules governing your relationship with your neighbor!!!

Matt. 5:40, 42  (give) yet ..... 5,000 - John 6:26 no refills - not feeding today.
Matt. 5:41  (extra mile, bear with)  yet - Matt. 10:14 - dust (divisive man, pearls before swine) - Jesus never let people walk on Him.  He was in control ALWAYS!!
Matt. 5:39  (turn other cheek) - yet  Rev. 19:11 - Jesus was not a pacifist

Contradictions???  or differing situations???

So.......... What should I do if my neighbor is a Jerk?

#1.  Understand Agape (love) = God's love - almost exclusively used in the New Testament
This does not mean a warm fuzzy feeling, but = to value and to Act accordingly.  Ex. 23:4-5
Not about emotions and feelings.  Example: Good Samaritan.  Neighbor is made in God's image, Christ died for him.   As per John 3:16
THEN - stick with the simple, clear, basics!!

#2.  Strive for peace. (which is more than prefer, desire, hope for) - As long as neighbor is willing to leave in peace, leave it alone!!!   Heb. 12:14,  -  Rom. 12:18 = You are Christian.  Act like it!!
Add:  A)  Avoid trouble when possible and B)  Control YOUR tongue!!!
James 1:19-20 - Most times when we're angry, doesn't bring about righteous behavior.
Matt. 5:9 - Peacemaker 

#3.  Practice humility - Humility says A)  You are NOT the most important
                                                        B)  You are NOT always right.  ie:  in conclusion and in action!  Sometimes You're the Jerk!!!!
Phil. 2: 3-4

#4. Pray for your neighbor  (can't get around this one!!) - Matt. 5:43-48 - Could change the situation, Neighbor, YOU!!!

#5.  Do Not retaliate - Rom. 12:17-21, 1 Pet. 3:9 - answering insult with insult - no room for this in Christian life.

Then what??  If none of this fixes?  solves?  satisfies?

Turn to...........
1)  Sanctified Common Sense
Which = A.  Use your head (not your heart!!) - When are mad, not thinking, but feeling.
              B.  In light of Scripture!!! - Matt. 10:16 - be shrewd but innocent

2)  Broader Scriptural Principles
Example:  sanctity of human life  vs. neighbor with wild gun or sex offender.  Look at greater principles that are scriptural.

3)  Civil Authorities - example:  Paul - appeal to his Roman citizenship - Acts 22 and Acts 25
He called out his civil rights.

4)  The LORD Jesus 
? is He on the Throne?
 If you look in the Scripture, but don't like the answer, then -- Are you willing to do as He directs?
THIS is the bottom line!!
There is no where else to go!!

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