Shift Pt.7 – Relationships
Philippians 2:1-8 ESV – So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
Here is a fact: God has made us to have relationships.
We can have a relationship with Him and we can have a relationship with other people. Since the fall of Adam and Eve – maintaining relationships have been a major struggle between man and man – and man and God.
God sends people into our lives. How we treat them determines whether they stay
God gives us things to use and people to love, NOT things to love and people to use.
The Purpose for People in your Life
Mark 12:30-31 NIV – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”
Life is filled with givers and takers. A person in your life who does not increase you will inevitable decrease you.
You must discern the people in your life. You must decide how much time you’re going to invest in others. We meet and become acquainted with many people in the course of our lives, however there are 3 levels in which we must recognize.
The 3 Levels are:
Your past, present, and future is always connected to people.
Relationships are founded on the discovery that you need people to be a success in life. The help us define who we are and what we can become. We can trace all our successes to pivotal relationships.
•Relationships are painful. Relationships are wonderful. We all live in the drama that plays out between these 2 truths.
•NO Relationship is without Challenges. Here are 2 challenges you face in every relationship: 1. False Expectation 2. Unfulfilled Promises
First, You can’t expect others to read your mind. False expectations occur when we refuse to talk things out. Do not harbor or hide your hurts and disappointments in a relationship. A seed of bad timing or misspoken word can take root – hurting you and hurting others.
Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many
Secondly, never promise what you cannot produce. Unfulfilled promises come from unrealistic schedules and pressures that WE self-impose. Simply learning to say NO now, can save you from “I’m Sorry” later.
James 5:12 NLT – But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned
When you understand the purpose for people in your life you will discover that:
- You will be appreciated
- You will be celebrated or
- You will be tolerated
- You will be terminated
•I’ve been all 4 at certain times in my life
2 Things must Increase for Relationships to move to the next level:
- Increase of Quality of Time
- Increase of Quality of Shared Information
Example: Jesus, who is the world’s foremost expert on relationships
John 15:13-15 NIV – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
•Laying down my life (Time)
•Everything I’ve made known to you (Information)
Relationships teach us that we were not created to succeed alone. Friendships teach us that true success is a shared destiny.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
You must discern the people God has placed in your life to complete you.
Our relationships determine the direction and quality of our lives.
1. Am I willing to change?
Matthew 18:3 NIV – And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You will never change your life until you change the way you think.
Romans 12:2 ESV – Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Its not what you can get from a relationship but what can you give. Value people.
Nabi Saleh Owner of Gloria Jeans Coffee – “We aren’t in the coffee business, serving people. We’re in the people business, serving coffee.”
2. Am I willing to put others first?
Mark 9:35 ESV – And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
You can tell how successful a person is by the way they celebrate the success of others
We have not come together to compete with one another, but to complete one another
Philippians 2:3 MSG “Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.”
If you have a choice between making yourself or people around you look good, choose people around you!
3. Am I willing to let go of the past?
I Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Much criticism has to do with the unfortunate nature of people and their selfishness, arrogance, and jealousy
Colossians 3:13 ESV – bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive
Apologizing does not always mean you are wrong, it just means that you value your relationships more than your ego
4. Am I willing to Love as Jesus did?
John 13:34-35 ESV – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus was saying that The Church is not about religion, it’s about relationships.
Romans 12:10-11 ESV- Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord.
How to have a SHIFT in Relationships
1. Strengthen my Important Relationships
When right people enter your life, right things happen. Right people are those who will build you and not tear you down. They are excited about your potential and dreams.
Galatians 5:13-15 NIV – You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other
Dr Carl Menger said, Our environment shapes us more than our DNA or heredity
2. Heal my Strained Relationships
Romans 12:17-18 NIV – Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
I dare you to make that call! Go make that visit!
Colossians 3:13 ESV – bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
3. Disconnect from Harmful Relationships
People who take you down and not up, they make withdrawals but never deposits. They abuse and misuse you. They gossip about you instead of guard you
I Corinthians 15:33 ESV – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals
People who are more critical than complimentary
Proverbs 13:20 ESV – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm
II Corinthians 6:14 NIV – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
(2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Message) “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. God himself put it this way: ‘I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,’ says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.”
4. Initiate new Meaningful Relationships
Ephesians 2:19 NIV – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household
Your spiritual family, the Church, will last for eternity
Proverbs 18:24 NIV – One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Questions to Ask Myself About meaningful relationships In My Life
- Are my relationships inspiring me to love God?
- Are my relationships inspiring me to love the church?
- Are my relationships inspiring me to make wise choices?
- Do my friends love and accept me for who I am?
How to do this – Connect (Life Groups) At GraceTown we believe that life change happens best in the context of relationship and community. Life Groups provide a place to care for one another, and partner for spiritual growth and kingdom impact. We promote a “free market” approach that capitalizes on existing relationships and affinities.
“I am more than I am, but less that we are. I sought my God but my God I could not see. I sought my soul, but my soul eluded me. I sought my friend, and I found all three,”
Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
Acts 2:42-47 ESV – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.