Summary: Continuing to look at 7 areas to give God control (7UP to God) to follow Jesus holistically, we turn to the social area: our relationships.
Getting Rid of Bad Breath
October 26. 2008
A little girl received a watch and some perfume for her birthday. She was so proud of them because they made her feel so grown up. All throughout the day, she pestered everyone to look at her watch or ask them if they wanted to know what time it was and pestered them to smell her perfume or ask if they smelled anything nice.
Finally at dinner, Mom said, “Honey, I know you are proud of your gifts but please don’t mention them while we eat.” So throughout dinner she never said a word. She just sniffed audibly and conspicuously lifted up her wrist to listen to her watch. Finally at the end of the meal she couldn’t contain herself any longer and she blurted out, “If anyone hears anything or smells anything, it’s me.”
This week we are going to look at the social sphere of our lives and the need to turn this area of our lives over to God’s control as one of the seven areas (7UP) to God in order to holistically, completely follow Jesus. This deals with our relationships. Is God control of this part of your life? Is God in charge of your relationships and how you treat others?
The symbol is air. Thus the air beneath the wings of the birds. Like air, our relationships sustain us and empower us. They keep us going. And they also have great potential to destroy us and wreck our lives as well. In the Tuesday small group Tena noted that when people we trust betray us, it feels like the wind is knocked out of us.
A second level of meaning for this symbol lies in the use of God’s spirit in the bible and it’s close relationship to the breath of God. It is God’s Spirit that makes a person truly spiritual according to the bible. It is God’s Spirit that gives us life and it sustains us.
The corresponding deadly sin is envy. Isn’t that so apt? It is in relationships that people often covet what others have. Because of our relationships, we sometimes see things that we wish we had.
We studied this a little more closely in the small group and looked at more scriptures related to the meaning of the symbol and then the corresponding deadly sin. What I want to focus on the rest of this time is on how we can improve this area of our lives? What does it mean to give God control of this area? How can we improve the quality of our relationships?
In essence we are seeking to get rid of the bad air in our relationships. We are getting rid of the bad breath. The breath that offends. The breath that sometimes surrounds us like the dirt around Pigpen in Charley Brown. Specifically, we are going to look at a few relational areas that can help us honor God. One area is what God calls us toward in order to help us. Two areas are things that we need to watch out for if God is going to be in control. Getting rid of bad breath.
I liked this cartoon about what not to do as a church. This church features a new class that is obvious not going build better relationships but push people away.
Getting Rid of Bad Breath
This comes primarily from Philippians 4:1-3. This was part of the passage that was read a few weeks ago when we focused on verse 8 and the mental area.
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
The first thing that we need to get rid of bad breath to help us in our relationships is:
No where does God expect us to follow Jesus alone. We are called not just to love others and do good for them but we are called to be in close, intimate, and accountable relationships with other followers of Jesus. Paul wrote that he expected the rest of the church to help these two women who were having relational problems. Hold them accountable to get along in the Lord.
Jesus sent out disciples not alone but in pairs. Paul throughout this letter to the church at Philippi wrote passionately about his love for these believers and how he longed to spend time with them and for them to be together.