We all have relationships in our lives that we tend to avoid. Whether it’s an ex, a co-worker, or maybe even a family member, we do our best to stay away from these people and navigate our lives around them. Sometimes this is from past hurt, but often it’s because we feel these people are a waste of our time. It sounds harsh but is often true. We all have a tendency to be transactional in our relationship. To love the people who are easy to love and to avoid the people that are hard to love. God knew this about us and as a result, has a lot to say about how we should interact with these difficult people. This week, we will talk about some motives we have for avoiding these people, assess our motives against what the Bible has to say, and learn from how Jesus interacted with the kind of people many of us think of as not worth our time and energy.



The people that are around you, but you overlook or avoid

  • How many know someone difficult to love?
  • Some people are harder to be around than others
  • SOME just seem to be a waste of the little time that I have
  • I’m scanning for connections that mean something…to ME

Our relationships tend to be transactional. Think: ROI


Jesus spoke to this tendency in us.

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Mt 5:43-48

  • ANYONE can love people who love them
  • ANYONE can invest in people they KNOW they’ll get a return on
  • There are people, right now, in you life that aren’t “worth it”
  • Jesus calls us to invest in people, not for the value they BRING US but because of the value God has assigned TO THEM


WHY? So that we will be “acting as true children of your Father in heaven”

    • This is the way to treat others the way God treats you
    • “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” ‭‭1Cor‬ ‭1:26-28


  • We look for people who can HELP us rather than people who NEED us.



The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian isn’t the number of friends they have but WHO they make friends WITH.

Beautiful Example of this

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. (People would’ve walked right past him/ would’ve overlooked him) Lk 19:1-2

  • Jesus intentionally made friends with the people that are overlooked. The people that everyone else around walked past never made eye contact with.


He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. (It’s the only tree he could have climbed) When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Lk 19:3-5

Jericho was on the main road from Galilee to Jerusalem and EVERYONE goes through there. It was a major Jewish city with many important Jewish people.

  • The ONE person Jesus chose was the ONE person who couldn’t even get to the front of a parade to see Him
  • What did Zacheaus have that Jesus needed? Nothing.
  • “My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” ‭‭Jms‬ ‭2:1-4‬‬

Who are those people in your life?

  • The coworker in the office next door.
  • Or the classmate you sit next to, but never talk to.
  • Neighbor you wave to but have never invited for BBQ
  • How can you go out of your way to show them that they matter?

If Jesus showed up in your “Jericho”, who would he eat with, that you never have?

  • We can’t say we love people that we aren’t willing to give any of our time, care, attention to
  • 14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” Jms 2:14-18


  • Be the person, to others, you wish people would be toward you.
  • Look at people, not through the value they offer YOU but the value God has assigned to THEM.
  • Who do you feel God is, right now, asking you to call down from the sycamore tree?