Summary: A look at how we can be better stewards, as we focus on relationships.

Managing Relationships

Job 2:11-13

October 7, 2018

Last week’s message started off a little heavy - as we looked at what was going on in our government with the selection of judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and the senate hearings. This morning, we’re going to start with another story, this one is about relationships, it’s sad, it’s bizarre, yet, it’s kind of humorous.

Do you remember the Seinfeld TV program? My favorite character was Kramer. Supposedly the character George Costanza was named after one of Jerry’s high school friends, named - - - Michael Costanza. Now, if you know the show, you know, it might not be a real compliment, because George was one of those guys who made you laugh, but it was because he was obnoxious and seemed to be more of a loser than a winner.

Seinfeld even gave his friend Michael Costanza a cameo appearance in one episode. It seemed Seinfeld valued their friendship and wanted to express that by giving him that cameo appearance.

But in the end, Michael Costanza filed a $100 million lawsuit against Seinfeld claiming the George Costanza character was based on him. He explained the character caused him a great deal of emotional distress and violated his privacy.

He even wrote a book, entitled, The Real Costanza. Writing ~ "George is bald. I am bald. George is stocky. I am stocky. George and I both went to Queens College with Jerry. George's high-school teacher nicknamed him 'Can't stand ya.' So did mine. George had a thing about bathrooms and parking spaces. So do I.”

In the end, the State Supreme Court Appellate Division upheld a ruling that Seinfeld did not use the plaintiff's "name, portrait, or picture.” The judges added that the statute of limitations on the case had run out, as Costanza did not sue within one year of the show's debut in 1989.

This guy tried to cash in on his friendship with Seinfeld. He was willing to risk losing that relationship in order to have a big payday. In the end, we can easily realize nobody is exempt from a failed relationship.

Sometimes, and this sounds terrible, but sometimes failed relationships are unavoidable. There are times when we’ve done nothing wrong, but someone has an issue and they place their issues upon us, and we end up hurt and losing a relationship we believed was valuable. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes, we’re at fault, or it’s a combination of issues.

Most of the joy we experience in life, and most of the pain, are the result of relationships. This applies to marriages, friendships, parent-child relationships, siblings, school and work-relationships. When you're surrounded by people you love, the hardships of life become more bearable. On the other hand, no amount of success ever compensates for the pain of a broken relationship.

Whether you’ve got lots of spare change or you’re barely scraping by, we all struggle with relationships. Nobody is exempt from relationship struggles. Just look at story after story about stars earning big bucks who are struggling with relationships. Nobody is exempt.

When we learn a little more on how to manage our relationships, we will find more enjoyment from being with one another. We will find we are more supportive of others and in turn, we find more support from others as well.

Those who consider friendship and marriage a disposable item, ultimately find themselves with greater unhappiness and more time being alone and feeling lonely.

There was a study published in Men's Health magazine which revealed the happiest and healthiest people are those whose relationships are strong and fulfilling.

We’re continuing to look at managing our relationships, so that we can not only find fulfillment, but that we would also honor and glorify Christ.

We’re looking at ways we can strengthen the relationships we have with others. How we manage our relationships and how we do not - ultimately is a reflection of who we are in our relationship with Christ.

For most areas in our lives, we try to control those things. We try to control our time, we try to control our money, we control our possessions - - - but, when it comes to managing relationships, you can’t control them. Managing your relationships is not about control, it's about

COMMITMENT. You can't control others, but you can commit to them. The more you try to control a relationship, the more quickly that relationship will unravel.

The way to find the most fulfilling relationships is when we commit to them.

First of all, managing your relationships begins with ... a commitment to loyalty

A group of friends went deer hunting and separated into pairs for the day. That night, one hunter returned alone, staggering as he carried a ten - point buck.

The other hunters asked, "Where's Harry?"

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