Summary: It’s impossible to live a lifestyle of unselfishness on your own. • Because its in our nature to be selfish – to look out for number one.
How To Find Joy In Your Relationships Philippians 2:1-2:8
Here is a fact: God has made us to have relationships.
• And those relationships come in two forms
• First we can have a relationship with Him
• And second we can have a relationship with other people.
• Ever Since the fall of Adam and Eve trying to maintaining relationships has been a full time job between man and man - and man and God.
One of the biggest causes of unhappiness in our world today is strained relationships.
• And the reason for that is that Conflict kills happiness.
• It’s hard enough trying to live in this world when everything is going right
• Much less if we are trying to deal with somekind of conflict
• It doesn’t matter if its nation against nation or family member against another family member
• To try and live without any conflict is just about impossible.
So How do you deal with conflict? ----How do you strive for unity?
1. Unity is major factor for success and fulfillment in life.
2. To have a successful business the employees must get along and work together.
3. To have a successful football team the players must work together.
4. To have a successful government the congress and the president must cooperate.
5. To have a successful family the members must work together.
6. And To have a successful church EVERYONE involved has to work together.
The truth of the matter is that Very little if anything in life is accomplish on our own.
• However When there is unity there is tremendous power and potential.
• The problem is people don’t always get along – they don’t always co-operate.
• So once again How do we strive for unity?
• How do we reduce conflict and increase cooperation?
In Philippians chapter 2 Paul talks about how to we can have unity
• And how we can co-operation with others.
Phil 2:1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?
Phil 2:2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.
As Christians - we are supposed to have unity in Christ.
• We are supposed to get along with one another.
• There ought to be able to fellowship together
Paul says we are to be like minded.
• This means that we are to show the love to one another – because Christ has loved us.
• We are to display mercy and grace – because that is what God has shown us.
• We are to put on the mind of Christ and if we did that we will be like-minded – in unity and harmony.
But the problem is that unity and harmony does not happen very often.
• But here Paul gives five practical steps so that we can find joy and at the same time reduce conflict.
• And we find the first step in vs 3
Phil 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.
Paul in this one verse gives us the first three steps of reducing conflict.
1. Stop having selfish AMBITIONS
• In life a lot of the time we compete with people who are supposed to be on our team.
• What type of team will ever win if they are so busy competing with themselves that they cant work together
As a children we competed with your brothers and sisters
• And now that we have grown up and we are so much older and smarter
• We still find ourselves you’re competing with our brothers and sisters,
• We keep trying to prove that we’re better.
• It may be our main goal in life
• To show the world that we are finally better than our brothers or sisters
• Or our neighbor. / Coworkers / Friends
The problem is that were supposed to be adults and we are still acting like children
• We need to Stop holding on to our selfish ambitions.
• Theres an interesting passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:11and it says
1Th 4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before.
What are the ambitions in your life? How are they driving your life?
• Are your ambitions causing conflict? Look at what James says on the subject:
Jas 4:1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you?
Society programs us to think that we need everything NOW