Summary: A final look at being a good steward in our relationships
Managing Relationships - 3
October 21, 2018
For the past few weeks we’ve been looking at Stewardship. We’ve especially been focused on the stewardship of being good at managing the relationships we’re in. Today, we’ll conclude with this part of looking at our relationships, then finish up in the next few weeks as we approach Thanksgiving.
We’ve talked about what it means to be a friend - - how to care for someone who is in need. We’ve looked at being faithful and committed to one another and how important that is in our world. Remember, relationships are all about commitment and not about controlling another person. We can’t control others, as much as we might want to - - we can encourage, we can motivate, we can even discipline, we can offer hope and love, and we do all of this and more - - by committing to walking alongside another person . . . as we offer them the love of Christ.
That’s part of the beauty and power of the church. Our presence with one another. Once we get to know one another and cultivate a relationship, we become loyal. We count on that person, not as a mere acquaintance, but as a friend, as someone we can go to in our time of need.
Even when they let you down. Even when they fail you. Even after they’ve sinned. . . . you don’t condone their actions, you hold them accountable, hopefully they repent and you continue to walk alongside that person as their friend.
That’s so vital in our world today. We all need friends. We all need people we can relate to, which is why programs like Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace and others resonate with people.
Ultimately, each of these programs were about people who stuck with one another. They’re stories about people who mess up, who aren’t necessarily successful, yet their friends are committed to standing with them.
The great tag line for Cheers rings true for so many of us. Cheers was a place . . .
Where Everybody Knows Your Name.
In the midst of that song are the words which ask, “where do you want to go?”
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name
And isn’t that so true in our lives. We want to go somewhere where people know our name, where we’re all on equal footing, our troubles may not be the same, but we know others have real life issues, they’re lives aren’t perfect, AND everyone’s always glad you came!!
That’s so important to us! If we don’t have that somewhere, then we’re missing a vital connection in our lives. Sociologists explain everyone wants a 3rd place. That’s an important distinction. When we break it down, it means
1st place - home
2nd place - work / school
3rd place - ???
For some people, it’s the bowling alley or the gym, or the bars, or coffee houses, or could it be the church? It’s not necessarily during the act of worship, but it could be part of it. . . it’s going to a place where we can find we’re accepted for who we are. Maybe it happens at Bible study, or you go to Sunday School, and you not only learn more about faith and action, but maybe even more importantly, you gain new friendships. We don’t have to pretend to be someone we aren’t.
With that in mind, I have a couple of ideas I’m going to be passing on to the Deacons to see if these are some things we may want to do, so we can better promote community and friendships within the church - doing it in a very relaxed, nonthreatening manner.
OK - - - so, we’ve talked about commitment to loyalty, and with loyalty comes someone who is a good listener. If you can’t be a good listener for another person, then you really aren’t committed to them.
I know I’m totally guilty of thinking I can multi-task when Debbie’s talking to me, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been proven incapable to doing what I think I can do. Have you ever had someone recognize you really weren’t listening to them, you were hearing them, but you were really concentrating on the television? I even think I can wash the dishes, have the television on in the kitchen and listen to Debbie at the same time. I’ve been guilty too many times of pretending to listen.
Listening is so crucial to letting someone know you care about them.
Some people hear you, but they just don't listen. Two guys were playing golf and one said, "My wife has a real problem. She talks to herself all the time." The other man said, "My wife talks to herself all the time, too, only she doesn't know it — she thinks I'm listening.”