Are People Worth It?
What did Jesus know that allowed him to do what he did? What internal code kept his calm from erupting into chaos? He knew the value of people.
Vent...its ok Really go ahead. Without giving a name, describe one of the most difficult people you've ever had to deal with....
Relate...In our house we call 5:00 p.m. the piranha hour. That's the time of day when everyone wants a piece of Mom.
Piranha hours: Parents have them, bosses endure them, secretaries dread them, teachers are besieged by them, and Jesus taught us how to live through them successfully.
When hands extended and voices demanded, Jesus responded with love. He did so because the code within him disarmed the alarm. The code is worth noting: "People are precious."
Review what our Lord faced ...
Immense crowds—a Niagara of people followed him everywhere.
Insensitive interruptions—he sought rest and got people.
Incredible demands—crowds of thousands clamored for his touch.
Inept assistance—the one and only time he asked for help, he got a dozen "You're pulling my leg" expressions.
But the calm within Christ never erupted. The alarm never sounded. What did Jesus know that enabled him to do what he did? He knew the incredible value of people. As a result:
He didn't stamp his feet and demand his own way.
He didn't tell the disciples to find another beach where there were no people.
He didn't ask the crowds why they hadn't brought their own food.
He didn't send the apostles back into the field for more training.
Most important, he stayed calm in the midst of chaos. He even paused, in the midst of it all, to pray a prayer of thanks.
Remember ...Honesty.2. What is the natural human response to our piranha hours?
Stop and think about this...3. Why do we tend to devalue people when they irritate us?
38"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' 39But I tell you, don't stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. 40If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles. 42If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don't refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.' 44But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. 45If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. 46If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. 47And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don't know God are nice to their friends. 48So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
The following questions will force us to move beyond self...
4. Describe the crux of the difficulty of loving the unlovable.
5. How can Jesus' example help us have patience with the people who aggravate us?
6. Explain the temptation to still live by the creed, "an eye for an eye."
More from The Word
14I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
15You saw my bones being formed
as I took shape in my mother's body.
When I was put together there,
16you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
were written in your book
before I was one day old.
7. How can the way God values people help us to be more patient with others?
8. If we are aware that God values us, why do we spend so much energy worrying about daily concerns?
9. How does the patience we have with ourselves affect the patience we have with others?
When is your piranha hour? When do people in your world demand much and offer little?
What did Jesus know that enabled him to do what he did? He knew how the people felt, and he knew that they were special.
You are precious to him. So precious that he became like you so that you would come to him.
When you struggle, he listens. When you yearn, he responds. When you question, he hears. He has been there.
Now i want you to Journal your impressions, reactions, thoughts and questions
What kind of compassion do I need from God and how can I pass that compassion along?
For Further Study...Great Word
To study more about the value of people Leviticus 24:17; Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 6:25–34; Matthew 12:11–12; John 3:16.
10. How does society place a value on people?
11. How do you think the world would function differently if, for the most part, our society valued humans the way Jesus did?
12. What is the most difficult part of dealing with people?
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, It is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.