Intro: There is a reason why God has kept you alive to this day. Acts 1:8-11. We have a final destination. A place where we are going. Our primary goal should be to refocus our minds to the second coming of Christ. Refocusing will help you to understand why we do what we do. All teaching therefore should be taken in the context of the coming of Christ.
Acts 28: 1-10. There are some keys points that you ought to keep in mind in these verses. Firstly, the bible says that the snake “fastened” itself to Paul’s hand, it is not written if it bit him or not. Secondly, the people of Malta had a preconception about Paul. Regardless of these key aspects, Paul did not waver from his mission. He was focused on what he was doing despite their perception of him and their presumptions. Regardless of the fact that they prematurely concluded judgement against his life and an inevitable death. Paul understood the concept of relationships, focus and purpose.
There are three main types of relationships a person has within their life and environment.
1. There are people who have a negative perspective on your life. They are prejudice towards you even without knowing you.
2. There are those that positively relate towards you and are there to strengthen and encourage you. These are the ones we naturally gravitate towards and hold dear in our hearts.
3. There are those that are seasonal and seem to be dominate in times of your success and stand to celebrate with you.
Understanding these group dynamics will make you better equipped to deal with situations. You need to understand why certain groups of people are in your life. For example, even though you may experience people with a negative perspective on your life, you need to understand that God put these people in your life to bring you an opportunity to improve yourself. Do not rule them out because through the difficult interaction with them, you have the chance to practise the word of God. The bible speaks of loving your enemies and praying for them. How then would you fulfil this, if every relationship you had was positive? To overcome something, you need to practise it, so view this group as that, a practise ground! Detremental to spiritual growth, most Christian’s do not see this in this light. They waste precious time and energy wishing these people to change and thus lose focus of Christ. In the scripture, people expected Paul to die. They stood watch and did not offer to help him even when they witnessed a venomous snake fastened to him. But Paul continued with his mission and proceeded to heal the sick. The name of God was glorified because Paul did not concentrate on the negativity. He held no grudge but rather demonstrated the power of God. You see the power of God can only be seen within a difficult situation. God does not put you in a situation to break you, but rather build you.
Take time to understand relationships in order to deal with them. Learn to categorise the people in your life, both positive and negative. Do not spend unnecessary time trying to change them. But use it as a chance for the Glory of God to be witnessed in mankind with “all the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives.”(Colossians 1:9).