Image by: sarniebill1
Text: Matthew 22:34-40
If you were to boil the Christian life down into one word what would that word be? At the risk of being too simplistic, I submit that the word would be RELATIONSHIPS. When Jesus was asked the most important commandment, He talked about one’s relationship with God the Father. He pointedly indicated that one’s relationship with his fellowman is a close second. It is a safe assumption then that relationships are at the core of Christian living. Today, I want us to look at some considerations about our relationships.
I. Priorities of relationships
A. There are at least six levels of relationships
B. Unless the above order of priority is honored one’s life becomes out of balance and happiness eludes us.
C. Where does one’s JOB appear on the list?
D. Where do many women place their priority? Children
E. Where do too many pastors place their priority? Church
II. Problem areas in relationships
A. Unresolved offences (conflicts) Whether you are the offender or the offendee. Three choices:
1. Confront the conflict with an eye to resolving it (you probably will!)
2. Ignore it and pretend it will go away (it won’t!)
3. Insist on your “rights” and refuse to resolve it (possibly permanently damage the relationship beyond repair)
B. Unforgiveness (whether asked for or not!)
1. It is lunacy to think that your unforgiveness hurts the OTHER person!
2. Remember the words of the Lord’s Prayer… “forgive us…as we forgive others.”
3. When we refuse to forgive we dam up our lives to prevent God’s grace from flowing in us.
C. Uncontrolled tongue (anger & gossip)
1. James 3:5 “…the tongue is a little member…how great a matter a little fire kindles.”
2. When you gossip you poison TWO minds…the other person—and you (How do you feel the next time you see the other person?)
D. Unwise actions or conduct
1. Be more sensitive to the implications of your actions
2. Be quick to confess when you have hurt someone else
3. Be quick to forgive when you are done wrong
E. Unfulfilled expectations
1. Many times they are unrealistic expectations
2. The answer: get your eyes off people and on Jesus
3. Accept the human-ness of people
III. Problem solving in relationships
A. Confrontation: READ Matthew 5:21-24 (There is nothing to be gained by delay; the sooner—the better!)
B. Compromise: READ Proverbs 25:8-10 (Be willing to bend; it doesn’t always have to be your way.)
C. Commitment: be “reconciled to each other” restore the relationship and commitment to each other.
A. Jesus indicated that our first priority was to have a proper vertical relationship with God, and
B. Then, a proper horizontal relationship with our fellow man
C. You can’t have the first without the second.
D. What about your relationship with God?
E. What about your relationship with your fellow man?Taken from Dr. Arnold Lastinger’s Sermon Notes CD.