How Can We All Get Along? part 2

Faith Church May 5, 2007 Psalms 133:1

 

Introduction:

1.  We’re continuing our NEW series in connection with the NEW Worship series: Building Strong Families and Relationships!

- our first study today is:  Why Can’t We All Get Along?[we’ll finish that today]

- and then we want to move into to the answers to the Q:HOW can we all Get Along?

2.  We made the point last week that of all the people in the world who ought to be able to get along, it ought to be believers!

- but many times, God’s people are the ones that shoot each other the most – and don’t get along

- . . . and that extends to the family and other relationships

3.  Let me remind you of a couple of KEY VERSES that let us know that the issue of getting along (or NOT getting along) is recorded in biblical history:

Example:  David even wrote of this subject in the Psalms:

  • Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!

Example:  Paul addressed this problem in the NT to the church at Corinth:

  • 2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

-  Yet, we still have problems with ‘getting along’ and we always will

-  But the issue is HOW are we going to learn to get along and bring glory to God by the way we solve problems in our lives, our homes, our church, our relationship with others?

4.  The last two weeks, we’ve been answering the Question: 

[Do a QUICK review of this section]

I.  WHY Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Input: What were some of the answers revealed to us from the Word?

A.  The CURSE of SIN – Genesis 3

B.  Man’s PRIDE (selfishness – it’s all about ‘me’ mentality)

  • NKJ Proverbs 13:10 By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.

- therefore we need exercise humility!

C.  Our Lack of LOVE for God and People

* Key to building strong families and relationship is learning what God’s love looks like:

  • FIRST
  • MOST
  • SACRIFICIALLY

D.  Stubbornness – a form of pride, but an unwillingness to change or do it God’s way or consider someone else’s opinion.

E.  Lack of KNOWLEDGE of the Word

- I’d like to move from “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

[Note:  We probably better understand the answers to that question than we do the next . . . but it’s still important that we remind ourselves . . . and teach it to our kids!]

- Let’s consider the next question on the road to Building Strong Families and Relationships:

2.  How Can We All Get Along?

Input: What comes to your mind as a biblical answer to this question?

[various answers]

Note: Refer to the OPPOSITE of what we just discussed – we have to

(1) overcome the effects of the curse of sin

(2) we need to be humble

(3) we need to grow in our love for God/people,

(4) we need to be more willing to ‘consider others and not be stubborn’ or learn to be flexible and not ‘die on every hill’ and …

(5) we need to GROW in our knowledge and understanding of the Word!]

- I do want to say that unity does not imply uniformity – i.e. we don’t all have to be like each other to be unified, nor do we have to agree on everything to be unified

- but the ‘attitude’ and ‘spirit’ with which we differ is very important to God . . . and critical to a marriage, family, church, job, community, etc.

- the first key answer to HOW we can all get along would be to focus on . . .

A.  The Goal of life:  Glorify God (to please God)

  • 2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Glory = opinion (to give the right opinion of God)

  • Isaiah 42:8 "I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.”

- one of the major reasons ‘why’ we all don’t get along is our goal in life is wrong – it we ARE going to get along, we need to come to the table with the same goal!

- life (and all it involves) should center around bring glory to our Creator, our King, our Master, our Redeemer Who reconciled us to God!

- another key to ‘how’ we can all get along is . .

B.  The Grace of God

Grace = God giving us what we do not deserve!

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

- Paul recognized the grace God has shown him, maybe that’s why he prayed so often for the grace of God to be upon the people to whom he was writing:

- we don’t have time to discuss EACH one of these – but notice what is CONNECTED to the idea of grace in these following verses (by Paul, Peter, and John): [READ EACH VERSE]

  • Romans 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:2 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Galatians 1:3 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Ephesians 1:2 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Philippians 1:2 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Colossians 1:2 …Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Graceto you and peace.
  • 2 Thess. 1:2 Graceto you and peacefrom God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Timothy 1:2 … Grace, mercy and peacefrom God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Timothy 1:2 …Grace, mercy and peacefrom God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Titus 1:4 ..Graceand peacefrom God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
  • Philemon 1:3 Graceto you and peacefrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 1:2 …May graceand peacebe yours in the fullest measure.
  • 2 Peter 1:2 Graceand peacebe multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
  • 2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peacewill be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
  • Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Graceto you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come. . .

Point: There is a connection to ‘grace’ and ‘peace’

Q:  Which came first?  Answer:  GRACE – Gen. 3:15

Point: There’s no peace in some situations because there is no grace!

[Apply this to God showing YOU grace when you didn’t deserve it!]

- this next one is VERY HARD to apply, but is KEY to ‘how’ we can all get along

- I also think (from a counseling perspective) that this is one of the most ignored verses in all of God’s Word (I want you to think about WHY it’s ignored/neglected):

C. Getting the Log Out of Your Eye 1st !

  • Matthew 7:1-5 [read]

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”

- many times, conflicts are RESOLVED when one person will admit that he/she was wrong

- the problem is, we usually want the other person to be the 1st  to admit that

- but there is an order OR process to follow – get it out of YOUR eye 1st . . . then you can talk about what the other person did!

- NOT: sarcastically – “OK, I was wrong, now let’s deal with YOUR sin!!”

* What does ‘getting the log out of your eye first’ look like?

1) See the magnitude of the sin – Psalm 51

- if a person doesn’t see that, it’s not likely they will change . . . (in their mind) they don’t need to change!

Q: Where can you look to see the ‘magnitude’ of your sin?

[Calvary – the cross, or the life of Christ!

2) Repent: change the mind – Luke 17:3

- stop thinking the other person is the one wrong – deal with your sin

- stop thinking ‘I’m always right’ and look at how you’ve violated God’s Word

3) Confess sin to the appropriate people – 1 John 1:9

- this, in a sense, proves the genuineness of our repentance – willing to admit it to the one I offended

confess’ = to say the same thing God says (i.e. it was wrong, sinful, didn’t please God, broke God’s word, etc.]

4) Ask forgiveness

- this lays the foundation for restoring the relationship

Cf. refer to Jesus’ prayer in Matt. 6 ‘forgive us this day as we forgive . . .’

- we are commanded to forgive one another! (Eph. 4:32!!)

Input: Why is this key element so hard to implement?

[various answers]

>  mainly because of the pride/stubbornness of ‘why’ we can’t we all get along

- after you’ve taken care of your part, if indeed you have sinned, then you need to . . .

D.  Gently Restore the Relationship – Gal. 6:1

- while the greatest goal is to glorify God, a secondary goal is to restore the relationship!

  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

1.  Go considering yourself (resisting the pride, get the log out, you sin as well)

- this is a Matt. 7 attitude we just talked about!

2.  Go with gentleness in your speech

  • Prov. 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

- sometimes a person may be right in what they say, but not ‘gentle’ – instead they are bossy, demanding, harsh, and tend to ‘provoke’ others to anger!

3.  Go asking questions (Example: God in Gen. 3)

“Questions convict the conscience; accusations harden the heart.”

- you can apply the following questions to parenting situations, but also in trying to solve problems with another person

-  When there is conflict and you want to solve the problem God’s way . . .

Input: What are some questions you can ask BEFORE you go talk to the person and WHEN you actually talk to them?

BEFORE you go

WHEN you go

  • What did I DO that was not pleasing to God?
  • What was I THINKING that led up my actions?
  • Would Jesus have handled the problem the way I did? If not, why not?
  • What should I have done?
  • In what way did I fail to show ‘grace’ when I responded the way I did?
  • Is my goal to please God in this situation?
  • Am I honestly evaluating my life and getting the log out of my eye?
  • OTHER ANSWERS
  • Do you want to solve this problem in a way that would be pleasing to God?
  • In what specific way do you think I sinned against you?
  • What do I need to do now to show grace so ‘peace’ can follow?
  • Can you tell me, in your words, what I need to do to bring reconciliation to our relationship?
  • OTHER ANSWERS

4. Go with restoration in mind

  • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Restore = to mend the net, to set the bone!

- talk about the goal of church discipline is to RESTORE the relationship!

E  Get to the idols of the heart, not just outward actions – James 1:13-17

- outward actions simply reveal what’s in the heart

  • Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

Idol = anything we make more important than pleasing God [Cf. Exodus 20:3]

Q: How do know when something is an idol?

1) How do you respond when you don’t get it?

2) Are you willing to sin in order to get it?

F.  Grant Forgiveness – Eph. 4:32; Matthew 6:14-15

  • Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
  • Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

- explain that forgiveness is conditional but COMMANDED! [Luke 17:1-3]

- our forgiveness is conditional because God’s forgiveness is conditional . . .upon repentance!

[recommend Jay Adam’s, From Forgiven to Forgiving – it’s in the MRC – we did a 18 week series on Forgiveness – it to is available upon request (electronic copies)]

G.  Grow as a result – Eph. 4:15; 1 Tim. 4:7

  • Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
  • 1 Timothy 4:7 …discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

* Progressive Sanctification: The doctrine of spiritual growth – Eph. 4:22-24

- if you don’t GROW as a result of the trying to solve the problem, you really haven’t brought the conflict to a peaceful resolution!

> part the ‘resolution’ is not making the same mistake again – to CHANGE & GROW!

- explain the progressive sanctification process of put off / put on (principle of replacement)

Divide the ABF into ½ working on the ‘put off’ and the other ½ work on the ‘put on’

Example: A person dealing with sinful anger – can’t seem to be able to resolve problems!

Put Off

 

Put On

Sinful thoughts:

  • I’m right
  • This should be done my way
  • The other person is WRONG
  • I’m not giving-in, in any way!
  • I need to TALK!!

 

Sinful actions:

  • Raising one’s voice
  • Facial expression
  • Reactions – slam doors
  • Silent treatment
  • Manipulate the other person
  • Principle of

Replacement

Biblical thoughts:

  • I could be wrong
  • I need to learn something
  • I need to be humble
  • I need to LISTEN
  • God wants ME to change

 

Biblical actions

  • Speaking kindly/gentle
  • Show self-control
  • Speak the truth in love
  • Ask questions, learn!

Conclusion:

* Don’t forget the Law of the Harvest! – Gal. 6:7-9(at all levels)

Faith Church