What the Apostle Paul Can Teach Us About Relating to People in a Politically Divisive Season

by | Jul 27, 2016 | Woman

I once encountered a man in the sweltering heat of Florida who claimed to operate in the deeper things of the Spirit. People were lambasted with whatever insight he thought he was receiving from the Lord.

Loud and overpowering, he wanted to ensure that everyone came into alignment with the minutia of his opinions. He wasn’t interested in establishing a relationship; he was concerned with voicing his insight.

Sadly, as people attempt to operate in spiritual gifts, they often imagine no other way. Either they’re disengaged or screaming at the top of their lungs. In one instance nothing is happening and in the next, they’re insisting everyone should come into sync with their way of thinking.

There’s got to be a better way.

As movers and shakers in New Testament encountered God, they weren’t afraid to step forward with strength. Nevertheless, as they expressed what was received from God, they often took a more gracious posture. Rather than speaking rigidly, they gave people ample room to process what was being asserted.

They were convinced that what was residing in the heart of the listeners would enable them to verify what God was expressing. Shaping lives is always more than mere arguments and power plays.

I would like to briefly highlight three biblical examples of this approach:

1. It Seemed Good To The Holy Spirit And Us…
After the Day of Pentecost, the leaders in Jerusalem sent a vital message to the Gentile believers. They asserted, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put on you no greater burden than these necessary things” (Acts 15:28). Rather than utilizing combative rhetoric, they merely noted that they were sharing precepts that “seemed good.” Rather than using strong-armed tactics, the leaders elected to offer their insights graciously.

2. In My Opinion… I Think…
When the Apostle Paul was providing counsel about unmarried women in the Corinth, he declared, “But in my judgment she is happier if she so remains as she is. And I think that I have the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Instead of leveraging his unique status, Paul framed his appeal from an entirely different perspective. He chose to characterize his insights as “opinions” and “thoughts.” Rather than speaking down, he decided to speak up.

3. My Conscience And The Holy Spirit Confirm It…

In another Pauline example, he graciously declared to the Romans, “I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 9:1). In this instance, Paul draws upon what’s stirring in his conscience. Instead of taking a coercive stance, he is inviting his listeners to actively process what’s being revealed.

When one has amazing encounters, it’s natural to want to lord it over others. However, that seldom brings the best outcome (Matt. 20:25-26). As we advance into the greater realities of the Lord’s purposes, a different approach must be embraced.

I think Paul understood this as he affirmed,”Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you to do that which is proper, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you … ” (Philemon 1:8-9).

I understand the inexplicable stirring of the soul, but advancement will not come to those who are overly coercive. Give people room to respond to the Lord’s marvelous decrees and watch what fantastic realities unfold.

J.D. King, author and director of the World Revival Network, also co-pastors at World Revival Church.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Believers Can Work Together to Restore Pre-COVID America

How Believers Can Work Together to Restore Pre-COVID America

On April 16, 2021, I traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the request of a local business leader, Clay Clark. He asked me to speak at a conference focused on ending the COVID lockdowns. Clay is a business coach and entrepreneur who'd seen his clients' businesses devastated...

What Is Your Prophetic Warning?

What Is Your Prophetic Warning?

God wants to anoint you with His grace through your unique prophetic wiring to impact the body of Christ in the place He has called you! He will do that in as many diverse ways as there are people, personalities, and gift mixes across the face of the earth. I cannot...

The Lord Says, ‘It’s Payback Time’

The Lord Says, ‘It’s Payback Time’

If you’ve been following any of my recent posts, you’re probably aware that my husband and I are selling the property we’ve lived on for the past 21 years and buying a ranch. Interestingly, we have also been led to engage in three other real estate transactions at...

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

My longtime friend Mario Murillo is providing a critical role in the body of Christ in speaking up against the wolves in sheep clothing. Matthew Henry said, "A traitor inside the camp is more dangerous than 1,000 persecutors outside the camp." Christians want to be...

RECENT ARTICLES

Do You Need A Miracle? It’s In Your Mouth!

So many people are in need of a miracle these days. So many people are experiencing lack, illness and despair. So many of these people are Christian people that are bewildered as to why they are...
Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Sodom and Gomorrah were real cities and real people lived there. These were notoriously sinful cities that God warned but eventually destroyed because of their wickedness (Gen. 19:24). These cities, infamous for their debauchery and homosexuality, are mentioned 23...

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

Are you bugged by a guilty conscience … carrying around baggage from a certain mistake or decision that produces feelings of regret or even self-loathing? We’ve all said or done things that we wish we could take back. And while it’s completely natural to grieve over a...

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

Christian married couples, like everyone else in the world, can have their ups and downs. The pressures at work, home and family can mount a pile so high you barely see your spouse on the other side. God created marriage and He longs for you to have a healthy,...

Prophecy: The Isaiah 60 Church Will Arise

Prophecy: The Isaiah 60 Church Will Arise

I saw a movie several years ago about an Amish community. In the movie, when someone needed help (whether it was a crisis, a barn raising or help in harvesting their fields) they would ring a large bell. Within minutes, the community would appear in all directions,...

Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

While he may not have realized it at the time, Fred Rogers, otherwise known as "Mr. Rogers" on the children's television program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," may have been anti-trans and also prophetic about the culture in America more than 40 years ago. A devoted...

Pin It on Pinterest