November 14, 1999
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Note that this is at the end of the SERMON ON THE MOUNT.)
The Lord summed up the whole of God's requirements for men toward each other in these few words. We call this the "Golden Rule - Do Unto Others What You Would Have Them Do Unto You." Sad to say, we all fail miserably with this far to often. We act and say things with very little or no consideration for the effect that our words and actions have upon others.
This is not saying that we must always do as others wish, but it does clearly say we must consider the effects of our words and actions have upon others.
Notice that we not only hurt others as we act without consideration for them, but we violate the whole of Scriptures, the law and the prophets.
Several things have happened recently to me that brought something to my mind. One of them was that I made a decision without talking it over with those who were affected by that decision. Not that the decision was wrong, but it was very inconsiderate of me not to talk it over with those involved. I saw the hurt it caused, and knew the problem was not in the decision, but the problem was in me. So I tried to place my finger on it, and the following is what came about.
Anyone who is a place where they must make a decision - man, woman, boy or girl - faces the very real possibility of beinginconsiderate of others in making that decision.
Inconsiderate - 1. Lacking regard for the rights or feelings of others. 2. Without proper consideration or reflection. Similar words are thoughtless, uncaring, unthinking.
The apposite of inconsiderate is considerate - 1. Showing concern for the rights and feelings of others.
So this morning I would like to cover this thought:
Consideration - 1. The process of giving careful thought to something. (Which we seldom do, ed.) 2. Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. 3. A discussion of a topic (as in a meeting). 4. Kind and considerate regard for others. 5. A fee charged for work done. 6. A considerate and thoughtful act.
As I "considered" a passage to us, I thought of looking in the 1828 Webster's. Here's what I found:
Consider, [To view attentively... to view or set the mind or the eye to; hence, to view or examine with attention.]
1. To fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; to think on with care; to ponder; to study; to meditate on. Deut. 4:39, Job 1:8, 2:3 (note here that there is someone considering us, looking for the opportunity to trip us up and ruin our testimony, ed.), Mat 6:28.
2. To view attentively; to observe and examine. Lev. 13:13
3. To attend to; to relieve. Ps 41:1.
4. To have regard to; to respect. Heb 10:24
The nature we inherited from our father, Adam, is concerned about only one person, and that is the person we look at in the mirror every day.
Inconsiderate boils down to our not thinking about anyone or anything except ourselves and what satisfies our own appetite, whether that appetite be spiritual, emotional or physical. Inconsiderate means we take others for granted. Inconsiderate means we want those things we want, and we do not think about the feelings of others, or how it affects others. Inconsiderate is the natural way of life that must be conquered by the power of the indwelling Spirit.
However, this is not to be the Christian's attitude, 2 Corinthians 6:6. I would love to do a series through 2 Corinthians, because in 8:8, Paul says to these people, "You say you love God and your fellow man, now prove it." Then Paul develops how they are to prove their love toward God and toward man. In 8:8, Paul uses money to prove our love, but the application is easily made: If we say we love our family and friends, we must PROVE IT BY BEING CONSIDERATE.
Hebrews 10:24 as our text. The passage starts in v. 19 and runs through v. 25.
V. 19, because of Christ, we have boldness to enter into the presence of God the Father through the work of Jesus Christ. He is our high priest, or mediator between God and man.
I used this illustration some time ago. In the Old Testament, the only approach to God was through a sacrifice on the altar. This pictured the coming sacrifice of Christ. And this is what the author of Hebrews is pointing out.
V. 23, Hebrews urges God's people to remain faithful to their profession of Christ. The context of Hebrews tells us that the urging was for the people not to go back to the Temple no matter how much pressure was put on them. Christ promised free access to the Father through his bloody sacrifice, and he will be faithful to that promise. Because of the relationship we have with the Father, we are to have a good relationship with other.
V. 24, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.
Then v. 25, one of the ways we consider others and urge them to good works is by being faithful in the public assembly of God's people.
Consider one another... We are to consider others in our actions and our words; in all our dealings with other people, we are to take into consideration that other person's character and needs.
Obviously, some people naturally have a considerate nature, particularly women. My wife is strong in this area. However, others are like I am, very inconsiderate at times. Those who are inclined to be inconsiderate must determine to be considerate, and keep it before the Lord. And even that determination will not work unless the Holy Spirit brings these things to mind.
It seems that the closer we are to someone, the more inconsiderate we are with them. We assume we know them, or assume something will be OK with them, so we press ahead. Or we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we do not even consider other's feelings. We assume things of them that we have no right to assume.
And we all have fallen into that trap. Basically, the problem is that we get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we want or think is right, and we fail to consider others. And what we want may well be a good thing, but we act with no regard for others.
So, what must we do?
First, we must realize we have a problem in this area. Second, we must admit the cause of the problem - we want it our way. ("Have it your way" at Windy's.) And this is the most difficult area in the world to correct, self. We are so accustomed to pleasing self that it is hard to see the problem and it is even harder to change it.Third, admitting that we have a problem will not solve the problem. We must desire to have change brought about in our lives. Fourth, cast ourselves upon the Lord for his grace, power, to bring this very entrenched and hidden area to mind, and then to give us the power to bring it under control.
One of the more encouraging verses that has come to my attention for some time is 1 Corinthians 2:2. We must determine to change the problem through the work of the indwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit.
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