Why Can't We All Get Along? part 1

Faith Church April 14, 2007 Psalms 133:1

 

Introduction:

1.  Today, we begin a 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?

2.  We all remember the Rodney King situation during the LA Riots

- after arrested, he asked the famous question:  “Why can’t we all just get along?”

- that’s a good question . . . even for those in the church, the body of Christ

3.  Of all the people in the world who ought to be able to get along, it ought to be believers!

- 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

*  The issue of getting along – or unity – is not a new subject for the church, or even the O.T. saints!

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!

- I wonder if the relationship between David and Saul came to his mind? [summarize – Saul selected as king of Israel, but David later was selected by God to be the king!]

- I wonder if the relationship between Absalom and Amnon came to his mind? [summarize – two sons of David, brothers who had ‘issues’ between them]

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;

-  Even with the inspired Word of God and 6,000 years of man’s history . . . WE STILL DON’T GET IT SOMETIMES

> . . . .that God wants to be glorified by the way we get along with each other

4.  If we’d really work on this issue, we wouldn’t have as many church splits / staff break-ups / even fewer divorces – because in most of these situations, God is NOT glorified!

- where there ought to be unity . . . there is often strife, division, arguing, tension, sinful anger and even bitterness & resentment!

- that may explain why so many homes & relationships are in trouble – a failure to understand that Building Strong Families & Relationships are  possible and to know HOW to bring it about!

Input: How would you answer the question, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

- Let’s consider this important question:

I.  WHY Can’t We All Just Get Along?

- it’s probably not going to surprise you that we need to go ‘back to the beginning’ in Genesis!

A.  The CURSE of SIN – Genesis 3

- the whole concept of relationships starts back in Gen. 1, 2 and 3

- the unity of the Godhead is revealed in the very first verse of the Bible

  • Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God …” – the plural form of Elohim – later 1:26
    • Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and . . .

- God created us in His image and breathed into us the breath of life and man became a living souls

1.  One of the characteristics of our being an image bearer is that we are COMMUNICATIVE BEINGS – just like God (specifically the Trinity – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – they are a PERFECT picture of ‘getting along’

-  and there was unity between Adam and Eve just like there was in the Trinity

>  in Gen. 1 and 2 – man got along just fine – with God . . . with and each other!

- but then came Gen. 3

2.  The heart of the temptation was this: ‘you shall be as God, knowing good and evil”

- when Eve and Adam made their decision and took the bait – man’s ability to ‘get along’ with God and each other came crashing down

- Eve thought unity was based on equality – “I get to be like God” – Adam willfully sinned and took the fruit!

- look what happened:

3.  The results of selfish choices:

1) sewed fig leaves to cover their guilt – would deal with the cause, only the symptom

2) ran and hid in the bushes – avoided the relationship – BEWARE OF RUNNING FROM THE PROBLEM!

3) made excuses – to justify what they did – RATIONALIZE THE SIN; ANOHTER ATTEMPT TO AVOID DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM

4) blame shifted – it’s not my fault God, it’s YOUR fault – TAKING NO RESPONSIBILITY IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE RELATIONSHIP

- as far as their personal relationship – Eve’s desire was now toward her husband

5) Gen. 4 – Cain commits murder – I wouldn’t say that’s ‘getting along’

>  talk about messing w/your mind – the curse of sin had a very adverse affect on the mind – [noetic effect of sin] – sins affect on the minds ability to think and reason

> beware when human reasoning starts differing with the Word of God -

- the rest is a history of man’s inability to get along with each other

- the eventually lead to

6) Gen. 6:5 – wickedness: the result of an evil heart

  • Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Q:  What’s the point?

*  Point: Disharmony or disunity is ultimately a rejection of God’s authority and His example of unity!

 – it is an attempt to displace the plan of God and authority of God that He established

>  it’s a nice way of saying, “I don’t like the way God set this up!”

- Understanding God’s authority and how I’m to respond is central to our ability to ‘get along’

Q: What’s the answer?  Submission and obedience because we recognize God for Who He is – the Creator and the only true and living God!

- but we have trouble with the submission and obedience part because of . . .

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.

- when people can’t get along – at the heart of the issue is PRIDE – that’s what motivates the rejection of authority

- pride that says, “It’s all about me” – vs “It’s all about you, Jesus” (Heart of Worship)

- maybe we need to remember Johns words (the Beloved Apostle whom Jesus loved):

  • 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

- we don’t think of a lack of unity even in our homes/churches as being worldly, but it’s rooted in PRIDE and it’s not of God!

- Don’t think for a second that the ENEMY has gone to sleep on this issue – Satan attacks our theology, but he also attacks our relationships

Q: How many homes are divided over issues were really worth dying for?

Q: How spouses/parents really have problems with major issues?

- Maybe Peter’s words need to be more a part of our thinking?

  • 1 Peter 5:5 . . . and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.

- it’s the pride that rejects the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace!

Q: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? . . . Q: What’s the answer?  Humility

- you’ll have a hard time building a strong family (i.e. a marriage and/or with kids) or relationship with other people where there is pride . . .

* Key Phrase:  Humility is the street that leads to problem solving!

Note:  Steward Scott will be dealing with that subject in depth on May 13th (Mother’s Day!)

- the curse of sin, and man’s pride leads to the next reason:

C.  Man’s Lack of LOVE for God and People

* Pride rejects the greatest commandments:Love God and Love People

  • Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

- but we SAY, “Lord, I love you!” – really, Jesus said:

  • John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

- if a man really loved his wife (or both ways) he sure wouldn’t yell at her and try to intimidate her with his facial expressions, tone of voice, or the volume of his voice

> same is true of a parent toward a child:

- I’m amazed at the number of parents who SAY they love their kids, but yell at them like a dog . . . or try to manipulate them with their silence and intimidate them with their facial expressions!

>  THAT is a result of the (1) curse of sin, (2) pride, and (3) a lack of love for God and for people!

- consider the characteristics of love in 1 Cor. 13 – how many of them deal with ‘relationships’

Cf. 1 John let us not love in word only but in deed and truth

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

  • FIRST
  • MOST
  • SACRIFICIALLY

- Another key factor in WHY we all don’t get along is . . .

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

  • Deuteronomy 9:6 "Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.”
  • Psalm 78:8 And not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
  • Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Input: How can ‘stubbornness’ affect a family or a relationship with other people?

– but key is the unwillingness to solve problems God’s way – won’t admit that I’m wrong, or won’t show ‘grace’ or ‘mercy’ to prove a point!]

E.  Lack of KNOWLEDGE of the Word

i.e. the inability to solve problems and/or build relationships because a person doesn’t know HOW to get along with others

- that’s why it’s important to be a student of God’s sufficient Word (worship service, ABFs, Point Man groups, Women’s Bible Study

Faith Church