Scriptures: Matthew 6: 31 – 33; Psalm 37:4
Have you ever allowed petty differences to interfere with relationships? Marriages are breaking up and churches are breaking up and fellowship groups are breaking up and prayer partnership groups are breaking up Over petty things where people are not mature enough to say when it’s all said and done, “I need you.”
You will run into Christian people and non-Christian people who inadvertently disrespect you or inadvertently make you feel bad.
Let’s take a look at Hannah in I Samuel, chapters 1 and 2, who’s making her annual trip to Shiloh.
According to scripture, Hannah has been weeping, praying and pouring out her heart to the Lord.
Her mouth continues to move; Hannah’s voice is just above a whisper.
Since you’re probably familiar with this scripture, you remember that Eli thought that Hannah was drunk because he saw her lips moving and she wasn’t speaking to anybody else. Eli could not figure out why Hannah was murmuring to herself. In what Eli had experienced in his life, the only reason a person muttered to herself or himself, was they’d had some wine.
Eli made a presumption about Hannah.
Okay, the key word here is presumption.
Eli assumed what he thought, was so, based on what he saw -- that is, what he presumed about Hannah.
Eli drew conclusions about Hannah without having any facts.
Has anyone made presumptions about you and been wrong?
Has anyone disrespected you and been dead wrong?
Has anyone thought they knew what you were thinking, didn’t check with you to substantiate the facts, and they were wrong?
Have you ever had somebody look at you and based on what they think they see, then reach conclusions and operate on assumptions about you – they even begin to talk to other people about you based on presumptions.
You are aware there are some people who decide they know what is going on in your life based on what they think they perceive.
Now remember, Eli was a called man of God.
He was anointed and appointed by God – this is very important to remember.
Presumption has no place in the kingdom of God, and Eli, a man of God in a position of authority, presumed.
When you presume to know what people are thinking,
When you presume why they are doing something,
When you presume what’s really in their hearts, you dishonor the integrity of these very people.
Eli said to Hannah, a precious woman of God, “How long have you been drunk? Get rid of your wine.”
Eli did not ask Hannah any questions to gather facts and to be respectful of her.
He did not ask, “Have you had some liquor Hannah [this one time]?”
He did not ask, “Do you drink regularly?”
He did not ask, “Are you in a drunken state Hannah; I’m concerned about you?”
Eli presumed Hannah had been a habitual drinker.
Now -- if we’re remotely honest, most of us would have been insulted and offended, especially since Hannah was tarrying before the Lord.
Can’t you just imagine how Hannah could have felt?
Do you wanna know why I had to type this article for you, beloved reader?
Do you wanna know why I so respect Hannah, dear reader who’s still being healed and delivered just like me?
Hannah was focused.
Hannah was so focused, she didn’t forget her purpose.
Hannah was so focused, she chose not to operate in offense.
Hannah was so focused, she chose to interact with Eli in a posture of l-e-g-i-t-i-m-a-t-e submission.
Key word = l-e-g-i-t-i-m-a-t-e.
Hannah was so focused, she remembered and let Eli know that she needed him to achieve her goal.
Beloved reader, you can’t afford to take the well-intentioned people in your life and begin to set them aside, and break fellowship and relationship with them, so that you end up isolated and unto yourself. The enemy knows when you are walking by yourself, you can get ambushed. You and I are prime prey for the enemy when we isolate and withdraw.
When we have Christian companions walking with us, the enemy has to think twice about attacking us. He knows the power of agreement. He knows the power of unity. He, satan and his demons, takes the good intentions of people that cause us to be so offended and cause us to feel so disrespected that we dis-fellowship with these Christian and non-Christian people. Oouchh!
Beloved reader, some of the people who are getting on your nerves, not all of them are your enemies. Some of them are people God has brought into your life, but you have to learn how to navigate. For example, Peninnah, was a bona fide enemy of Hannah. Eli was not Hannah's enemy, although she could have easily chosen to exclude or distance him from her life. Hannah knew Eli was a divinely appointed person in her life.
Beloved reader, building good, solid relationships is not easy. You know this, I know. Don’t let taking flight, be your first tendency. It takes work, on your behalf, to be big enough, to be mature enough, to work through some of these l-e-g-i-t-i-m-a-t-e offenses. And yes, the person, the people, were wrong.
We need the imperfect Christian people, God has appointed in our lives.
We need the imperfect Christian people, who will presume sometimes and come to us in attack mode.
We need one another desperately.
You need the support of those God has raised up to be in your life – to achieve your destiny, to get through this mental valley your in.
Do you have enough grace in you, to initiate the process and go get the issue straight with the person?
If you don't, let's ask the Holy Spirit to impart more grace to us for a specific issue with a specific person.
As Christians, the last place we expect to be disrespected is in the church and by church members.
But may I share something with you beloved reader, the majority of Christians who come for personal, confidential, integrated healing and deliverance ministry, have been disrespected or even abused repeatedly by Christians in leadership positions either in the local church or in the marketplace i.e. your neighborhood, your professional groups, your workplace, your exercise partners, your family, etc.
If you’ve not read I Samuel 1 – 2, be encouraged to read it so you can know how Hannah respectfully and calmly explained to Eli her issue, her condition and her need of his help in her life. Hannah even goes a step farther, and reconciles. Oouch!
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Recommended book | The Bait of Satan by John Bevere
What you have read are my typed notes from the series Kingdom First Living, Volume I, Part 5, from Enduring Truth, the teaching ministry of Pastor Paul E. Sheppard. You can listen to the audio of this teaching here.
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