Why Can't We All Get Along? part 2

Faith Church April 21, 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.  The issue of getting along (or NOT getting along) is revealed 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?

** Discuss the Virginia Tech incident – 32 people murdered – this past Friday, the anniversary of Columbine High School – and how this relates to what we studying!]

4.  We began our study last week with a question: 

[Do a QUICK review of A and B]

I.  WHY Can’t We All Just Get Along?

- some of the key answers to that question include: 

A.  The CURSE of SIN – Genesis 3

- man didn’t start this way (Gen 1 & 2), but Gen. 3 reveals the problem!

-  While God made us in His image (COMMUNICATIVE BEINGS) but man failed to maintain that sinless position by rejecting God’s authority to NOT eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!

> the rest is history and the results are overwhelming . . . and ON-GOING (Va. Tech!)

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

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

* 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 . . . and causes the strife/division/contention

* Answer:  Humility – see God for Who He is, in all His greatness & power . . . then we won’t be so proud!

Note:  Our theology (or lack of it sometimes) drives our behavior!

[this is where we left off LAST WEEK]

- the 3rd answer to “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along” is . . .

C.  Our 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

> instead, he would be treating her as Christ loved the church!! [Eph. 5:25-22]

- if a wife really loved her husband she be careful with her tongue and would be diligent to be submissive and fulfill her role as a fitting helper

- the same is true in the area of parenting:

>  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!

Point: Conflicts in these area are a result of the (1) curse of sin, (2) pride, and . . . (3) a lack of love for God and for people!

Input:  In what way does the absence of godly love make it easy to not get along with others?

[various answers – but a good look at 1 Cor. 13 would be a big help]]

* Consider the characteristics of love in 1 Cor. 13 – how many of them deal with ‘relationships’ (in essence, you can apply ALL of them to how you treat other people because that’s what the whole passage is about!

Note v. 1-4

  • 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

- part of Paul’s point here is the importance of love in the life of a believer (very important)

[READ 1 Cor. 13:4-8 – discuss as you go the implications of each characteristic of love and how the lack of it contributes to “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”]

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

  • 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

- it’s one thing to SAY you love someone, it’s another thing to SHOW that love by your actions!

- John gave us some characteristics of love as well – and when these are ABSENT or IGNORED or NEGLECTED. . . bad things begin to happen:

  • FIRST
  • 1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
  • MOST
  • John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

- this verse also communicates another point, that love should be demonstrated . . .

  • SACRIFICIALLY

Point: The guy who murdered 32 people didn’t love any of them – He loved himself so much, he played God and took the life of others

- you say, well he was really bad . . . and he was

- but remember Jesus’ words:

  • Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

- and remember the words of John (the Beloved Apostle)

  • 1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

- some people are guilty of murder and they never pulled a trigger!!

Point: If we love God . . . we’re going to love people . . . and we will treat them in loving way when problems arise!

- 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 stubbornpeople.”
  • Psalm 78:8 And not be like their fathers, a stubbornand 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 stubbornnessand 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’ just to prove a point!]

Illustration: In our house how this gets demonstrated between siblings . . . and their parents!

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 . . .  and PERSONAL Bible study!)

- it’s important to have the attitude or heart Jesus describe in:

  • Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Q: What are you hungry for?   What do you spend most of your time doing (it may be OK, but do you make time for God’s Word? Memorize it? Meditate on it? READ it/STUDY it?)

- if we are NOT like this, then mark it down, something is WRONG and ‘conflict’ is just around the corner

- God the Creator gave a way to solve our problems while under the curse of sin!

> that’s what we mean when we say that God’s Word is sufficient

- but BELIEVING something about the Word is different than KNOWING what the Word actually says and then DOING it (James 1:22-25)

- we need to be more like Jeremiah:

  • Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
  • Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

> sometimes that path takes us down the Road of Relationships!!

> And we need God’s wisdom to help us respond

- 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:

NEXT WEEK: 2.  How Can We All Get Along?

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

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

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.”

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):

  • 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’ (which came first?  GRACE – Gen. 3:15 – so, maybe there’s no peace in some situations because there is no grace!)

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 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 that look like?

1) See the magnitude of the sin – Psalm 51

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

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

4) Ask forgiveness

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

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)

2.  Go with gentleness in your speech

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

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

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

a) What did you do?

b) Was it right?

c) What should you have done?

d) What will you do next time? [preparing them for the future – tempted again later]

e) What does God expect me to do as a result of what you’ve done?

4. Go with restoration in mind

Restore = to mend the net, to set the bone

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!

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 – the

Put Off

 

Put On

Sinful thoughts:

Sinful actions:

Principle of Replacement

Biblical thoughts:

Biblical actions

Conclusion:

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

Faith Church