Let me ask you a question. How do you handle confrontation? Do you avoid it at all costs?
Or are you maybe a little over-eager to engage in it, like you always like a good fight? Today, I want to encourage you not to retreat when tough conversations or challenges arise, but to step into them in a healthy, God-honoring way. Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Gruy, and I want to tell you today's message is incredibly relevant to every Christian. How we talk to and talk about other believers is at an all-time low. Today, as Chip continues his study in 1 Timothy, we're going to learn how we can lovingly communicate with one another, even when we disagree.
Now, before we get started, if you're new to Living on the Edge or missed any part of this series, you can always catch up via the Chip Ingram app. Here now is part two of Chip's message, Step Into. He picks up in 1 Timothy, chapter 5, verse 22. Do not lay hands upon anyone too quickly and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others.
Keep yourself free from sin. You know when you're overwhelmed in a job and it's just hard to breathe and you can't do it all? It is the absolute worst time to hire someone because no matter what you tell yourself, you will settle. You'll hire someone that is a quick fix. You get them in.
Here's what I can tell you. The wrong person in a role, whether it's in a church, a ministry, or a company, the wrong person is way worse than no one at all. Then he goes back, the sins of some people are quite evident going on before them to judgment. For others, their sins follow after. Timothy, you've got to be really careful who you put in leadership because here's the deal. Some people you put in leadership, they mess up and everyone knows they mess up.
But some people go to their grave and we don't find out about the damage or what's happened until later, but it's devastating. Without mentioning any names, I think you can all think of some of the greatest Christian leaders in our whole generation who in recent times, revelations about their sexual indiscretions that have rocked, in this particular case, not the United States globally. What I can tell you is for reasons God only knows, I've been in three church ministries in my life.
I got to help plant a church, so I guess four. In every one of those three, I followed someone who fell morally. I will tell you something, you can't fathom or grasp how long the ripples, the people who, I can't trust God, I can't believe in God anymore.
I believed in that person. If he did that, a weak man in a weak moment under the right circumstances beginning with me and everyone in this room and anyone who ever watches this, you can fall. I read the scriptures, if David can fall, who can't?
It's like watching a nuclear emotional spiritual bomb go off and then the radiation of it just goes on for two, three, four, five years and some people never recover. He's really warning him, hey Timothy, just having the right doctrine doesn't make you a great pastor. You've got to have people skills. Just being right doesn't make you a great leader. Just being right and having the right intentions don't make you a great leader, a great husband, a great father, or a great dad. Being right with the right doctrine, with the right intentions, with the emotional intelligence to know how to relate to people in a way that builds a bridge so they can hear and understand and the truth be applied so it comes as a help and a support instead of a hammer that crushes.
I think the sin that can happen when we want to help or reprove other people is our anger and our sense of self-righteousness and even out of deep concern at times I've disciplined some of my kids with an intensity as they were growing up that I had to go back and apologize. Thank God for wives, right? Chip, what he did was really wrong. Chip, I think what you said was really right. Chip, I think you said it in a way that you just crushed one of our kids' spirits. And of course after immediate denial and she doesn't understand, the Holy Spirit that sounded a lot like my wife's voice said, you just crushed one of your kids' spirits and you need to get down on their level when they were young. You need to sit across the bed when they were teenagers and with tears in your eyes you need to say, what you did was wrong.
Lying about it was worse. And candidly, the fear it struck in my heart about what that could mean for your life caused me to discipline you in a way where you got way too much heat and not enough light. And see, that's what Paul is trying to help Timothy learn.
And so the coaching nuggets here are maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. I want you to start thinking about relationships. Start with your wife if you're married, close friends if you have children, leadership in the church, relationships in a small group, work relationships, friendships. I want you to start thinking of God, is there anyone or anything that you need me to adjust, you need me to be more emotionally intelligent and to do it without bias.
The response is do not sharply rebuke an older man, appeal to him as a father, to younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters in all purity. And what I can say to you is doing that without bias has been a big journey for me. Powerful people intimidate us. Rich, rich people can intimidate you.
People that don't look like you, who don't act like you, who don't believe like you, who vote for a different party than you, who have more tattoos than you, whose hair looks differently than you, whose color of their skin is different from you, who come from a different background than you. All those things can cause us to unconsciously have a lens or a bias because we've grown up in a world that's different than their world and it takes emotional intelligence guided by the Spirit of God. And it goes back to, I don't know if you know St. Francis' prayer, it's such a great prayer.
He asked God to grant me, to be an agent of your blessing to people. And then one of the great lines is he says, I ask that I might seek to love rather than to be loved, to understand rather than to be understood. And empathy is the very first thing that we all need in every problem relationship. It changes everything.
You might jot this in your notes, this has been so helpful. Everyone behaves in a way that makes sense to them. And if you can realize that then you don't demonize them and they're terrible and they're wrong and they've done this. Now, I may totally disagree, they may be wrong, but it makes sense to them. From the information they have and the way they were brought up and their belief system and their worldview, doing X, Y, or Z really makes sense to them. If you can back that up and try to figure out why it makes sense to them and build a bridge of relationship, then there's hope.
But casting grenades at one another, it's not faring too well. Here's what the coaching I think the Lord gives us through the Apostle Paul. Here's the underlying issue, circle it if you will, wisdom. The concept of wisdom, it's a Hebrew concept. And wisdom is an intellect. Wisdom is skill. In fact, in the Old Testament when the word is used of building the temple, it uses this word for wisdom for the guy that has the ability to do artwork and building. Proverbs uses wisdom to say it's knowing the right thing to do and the right way for the right reason.
Wisdom with knowledge and understanding and how to apply that. What Paul's trying to say is, this is the wisdom you need in relationships. The underlying question for me and for you is, am I willing to address the relational challenges in my home, work, and church? I'm just gonna go on record, the average man is not willing to address the relational challenges in your home. You just figure out how to deal with it.
Your silo, her silo. The kids will be like that. I guess things will some other time. I don't know any man that over some time doesn't have conflict in communication, conflict in your sex life, conflict with in-laws, conflict with money, and I've struggled with all of them. And I can tell you that at different seasons in my life, I didn't want to face them, so I buried them.
And so what you learn to do is when there's something that needs to be addressed, it's easier to turn on ESPN, it's easier to drink a couple beers, it's easier to go in the garage and get a workout, anything but talk about the issue that really, honey, you know what? I went away to this retreat and God spoke to me about our relationship and I've sensed over time, I like to talk about that. Or maybe it's a son that's grown. Maybe it's someone you haven't forgiven.
Maybe it's a boss that did you in. Maybe it's someone in your small group that, I've had pastors tell me, I'm watching people with 20 years of deep relationship in our church split, and I may not talk to each other. I have families in our churches that don't, younger generation and older generation are not communicating over all these secondary issues. What you need is wisdom and God will show you.
The action required is, I call it stepping into. It's, of all the things that's hard I think for us as men, it's stepping into relational messy stuff. If you're older you gotta ask yourself, why would my younger son who loves Jesus be so adamantly opposed to my political view of things? Ask him and seek to understand and really listen. Why would my father who loves God and cares about God, how in the world could he vote for so and so or support this when all these other issues are combined with it?
Ask him. I'm going to encourage you to memorize verse one and two until it's both in your heart and in your hands of practicing. This is how I'm going to deal with older men. This is how I'm going to deal with younger men.
I'm not going to be superior and I'm not going to feel inferior. This is how I'm going to view my brothers. This is how I'm going to treat, I'm going to think of the various women in my life that are younger as sisters in Christ. If you're going to step into a delicate relational issue, you need to get outside help. Might be an older man, could be a pastor, might be a counselor. Just someone that, you know, you know them and whoever it is knows them and then I would say you have to develop a plan and then a time to act. If you walk out of here going, you know, I gotta address this with one of my kids. I need to address this with a guy that used to work with. I need to address this with that pastor or one of the leaders of that church that we left over X, Y, or Z. Dude, write it down and say by this date I will address that.
Good intentions accomplish nothing. And then when the emotion comes up like, oh man, I don't know how to do that, then just admit that. God, I don't know how to do that.
Or are you ready for this one? At least I'm going to just share. God, I'm afraid to do that. And I'm afraid to do that.
I mean, what if this, I mean, it's not good now, but it could be a lot worse, right? If you are willing, get someone who will help you develop the plan and show you how to do it. There's a book, I don't know the author, my son had me read it. It's called Critical Conversations. It's very short, but it really talks about how do you not put off having that conversation that are the most critical and how to do it in a positive way. Everything from what to do, how to do it, when to do it, in what environment, and how to set it up.
Superbook. The unspoken need is to develop personal courage. You know, you need to be emotionally intelligent, but my experience is most of us are fairly smart enough to know what we really need to do.
My observation is we don't have the courage to do it. I can remember early on the courage to go to marriage counseling because our marriage was in real trouble. Just recently I had a situation with someone that's really, really close to me and I didn't know how to handle it and I took, you know, I'm a pastor and gosh, my background is in theology and psychology. I got a few tools in my bag and I got stuck. I called a guy from Southern California. I said, John, I'm really stuck.
Could you tell me if someone in my area, he's got to be really good and really biblical because I don't want a bunch of, you know, psycho babble, but I'm stuck and I don't know what to do. He said, yeah, I got to grind. Man, man, I drove up to Milpitas area, sat down with him for an hour and had a couple, three sessions on Zoom. I got news for you. If I had a compound fracture, I wouldn't go, oh, I got this. I got this.
You know, real man can handle a compound fracture. If I don't know how to handle something in a relationship, I'm going to go to a good doctor and ask for help. Can I encourage you? Do whatever it takes.
Here's how. First, know the truth. Joshua 1.9, some of you know, right? Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, right?
Wherever you go. You don't have to be afraid. Proverbs 17, 17, a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. I've got to know the truth.
God's got someone to help me with this. Living the truth is Matthew 7, and it's a classic passage of do not judge lest you be judged. I want to make one point. Be careful that when you are addressing a relational challenge that you don't sit in the position of I've got the truth and I just need to get this person to see the truth.
That's a non-starter. What you have is a perspective of the truth that is your lens that is developed over time. In fact, this was such an area of arrogance in my life that got pointed out so painfully in some of my leadership years where I had to admit it was a failure of leadership. I unconsciously thought that my perspective was the perspective.
I wrote out on a card when I have to talk to someone about something that I think might be hard, I literally have memorized. Here's my first line. I sense we need to talk about something, and what I would like to share with you is this. I have a perspective. I'm not telling you it's the truth. I'm not telling you it's reality. I'm telling you it's my current perspective of the situation that I think we need to get on the table and talk about. So I need to hear, because this event happened or this conversation happened, and from my lens, this is the way it looks.
Help me understand if that's accurate or inaccurate. And what that does is that gives the person a chance to say, no, you don't understand. And we can disagree. But the moment, if you're going to talk to someone, you're right, they're wrong, and they need to get with the program, you might be right.
But that attitude will kill any opportunity for building a bridge. And then you have to do it gently, Galatians 6, one and two. Brethren, even if someone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, the idea is mature, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, each one looking to yourselves so that you will not be tempted.
Bear one another's burdens and therefore fulfill the law of Christ. We so need each other. And then finally, just hands on, Proverbs 27, 17, in terms of sharing the truth, iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. In other words, when I've gotten around, I have some people in my life that are really good at speaking the truth in love. And especially early on, I want people to like me so much, I was pretty good at speaking about the love but not so much about the truth. And then as I matured a little bit, I got pretty good at speaking the truth but not very much in love.
And so what I found is getting around people that are good at that has helped me get better at it and get more comfortable. And here's what I can tell you. What you really fear is going to happen that keeps you from doing it rarely happens.
On occasion it does. But it's the fear of the blow up that will keep you, we talked about godliness, genuine maturity. Here's the mark of it. Ephesians chapter 4, 11 to 13 says God gave gifted leaders to the church to equip the saints to do the work of ministry until we all become mature in Christ. And then it says here's the litmus test of whether you're mature in Christ. One is doctrinal and the other is relational. As a result, we're no longer to be children tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine, by craftiness and deceitful scheming. In other words, so if you're mature, you know the truth versus the lie. But speaking the truth in love were to grow up into all aspects into him who is the head.
And then it talks about the real goal. By that which every joint supplies according to the proper working of each individual part that causes the growth of the body to the building up of itself in love. Redemption, restoration, reconciliation, that's what Jesus offers us in our relationships. Chip will be right back with his application for this message Step Into from his series The Book of First Timothy, Life Coaching from the Apostle Paul. Through this new study, Chip identifies six pieces of godly wisdom Paul passed on to his protege Timothy and how these truths apply to you and me. Hear why characteristics like humility, dedication, integrity and respect are still critical to our relationships with others and God.
I hope you'll listen to every part of this series either through the Chip Ingram app or livingontheedge.org. I really think you're going to learn a lot. Well, Chip's with me in studio now and Chip as we're talking about Paul coaching Timothy, it made me think there may be some Christians out there in midlife or beyond that don't feel like they have much to offer either in the church or in mentoring young people. What would you say to them?
Well, Dave, I think that's true and I think it's a lie. Those in my generation or some a little bit older can feel like I'm rusty or my skills are outdated or, you know, I've done my time. You know, I'm 40, 50, 60 years old and I'm going to leave it to the next generation.
The fact of the matter is God has a different purpose for every person in every season. And I'm going to ask you as someone maybe in midlife or beyond to really think about the wisdom, the advice, the feedback, the experience, the person you could be in the body of Christ. You see you're innately wired by God with gifts and experiences that he wants to use and he wants to use now.
The real question is, do you know what they are and how to use them? Well, here at Living on the Edge, we've created a brand new resource called The Real You. It's an online questionnaire designed to provide insight into how God wired you. This is more than spiritual gift test. You'll identify the patterns in what you think, what motivates you, and why teams need someone just like you.
It'll take about 20 minutes to complete and it won't cost you a thing. Then based on your responses, The Real You will offer suggestions about how you can practically live out God's purpose for your life, whether that's at home, in the office, at church, or in your community. As a Living on the Edge partner, we want you to be the first to access this resource. Head over to therealyou.org to learn more. That's therealyou.org.
Most Christians don't know how to leverage their God-given wiring and experiences for the kingdom. We want to change that. Thanks, Chip. Well, as you can tell, we are really excited about this new resource. We hope The Real You will help you not only discover who God made you to be, but how he made you to think, act, and live. As Chip said, you can sign up for this free assessment by going to therealyou.org. Or if it's easier, text the word real to 74141. That's the word real, R-E-A-L, to 74141. App listeners tap special offers.
Well, now here's Chip to share his application. As we close today's message, I want to actually read two key verses from 1 Timothy 5 that are at the heart of everything that we shared. Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, to the older women as mothers, and to the younger women as sisters in all purity.
And then it goes on as we learn to talk about widows and others. But I just want to ask you, how are you speaking to different people? Is it with kindness?
Is it with sensitivity? In the message, I challenge you to step into these relationships and to memorize that passage. Are you ready? Memorize that passage. I mean, just get that in your mind where you're thinking, you know, older people and men and women and peers and younger women and other young guys, and just to really think there's a way to talk about even controversial things that doesn't put down the person, that respects them as a person, that shares your thoughts with dignity and understanding, not with harshness. Second, when you have a tough situation that's coming up, get some good outside counsel. Get someone to help you think about how to address a tough issue in your marriage or with a friend or with a brother or with someone that you know is a believer and you were friends before the pandemic and things have divided you.
And then finally, develop a very specific timeline to act. Here's what I want you to do. As you heard this message, two questions.
Who do you need to talk to? Second question, is there anyone you need to apologize to? It's not about being right. It's about, do you have the right attitude?
And in the body of Christ, right relationships matter more than you being right. Oh God, would you bring healing about in your body? Would you help us to recognize where even if we believe with all of our heart what we believe or what we've said is right, would you please forgive us for the way we've said it or the people that we've attacked? And would you give us the courage and the humility to go to them today and ask them to forgive us for the way we said it?
Amen. Before we go, I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs, purchase airtime, and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. If you've been blessed by the Ministry of Living on the Edge, would you consider sending a gift today? You can do that when you visit livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. And now you can text the word donate to 74141. That's the word donate to 74141. We want you to know how much we appreciate your support. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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