Summary: Based on The DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley. Are there some people you would like to change? Who wouldn’t! The problem is, we cannot change anyone but ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE POWER OF ONE
The DNA of Relationships (part 2)
A. We are continuing our series on The DNA of RELATIONSHIPS based on the book by Dr. Gary Smalley.
There was young rookie preacher asked to officiate a WEDDING for the first time. He was rather NERVOUS about it. So he decided to seek out HELP from a more EXPERIENCED minister. The older MINISTER told him, “Don’t worry about it. Just RECITE any APPROPRIATE Bible Scripture and everything will be all right. They’re not going to remember what you say, anyway.”
The day of the WEDDING came and the ROOKIE PREACHER was even more NERVOUS. As he LOOKED at the COUPLE standing before him he forgot everything he was going to say. Remembering what the older Minister said about reciting a Scripture, he quoted the first Scripture that came to mind, “Father, FORGIVE them for they know not what they are doing.”
B. Last week we learned that we are CREATED for three RELATIONSHIPS—with GOD, with OTHERS, and with OURSELVES.
1. Although we are CREATED for RELATIONSHIPS, maintaining STRONG, HEALTHY relationships is not always easy to do.
When we enter a RELATIONSHIP, whether it is a MARITAL RELATIONSHIP, a BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND RELATIONSHIP, a RELATIONSHIP we have with a FELLOW-CHRISTIAN, a RELATIONSHIP at WORK or at SCHOOL, a RELATIONSHIP with a NEIGHBOR or FRIEND, etc—we bring to our RELATIONSHIPS certain HABITS and ATTITUDES and VIEWPOINTS that often set up CONFLICT between us and the person(s) we are in RELATIONSHIP with.
2. When these CONFLICTS arise we have a tendency to point to the other person and say, “If he wouldjust change his OPINION about that everything will be all right.” “If she would change the way she SPEAKS to me, we’d get along.” (HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE? RAISE YOUR HAND, BUT DON’T LOOK AT THE PERSON.)
B. The truth is we can’t CHANGE anybody but ourselves.
1. While doing RESEARCH for this lesson, I came across this insightful QUESTION that really gets to
the CORE of this LESSON.
a. The question asks: “WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE MARRIED TO ME?”
Not me PERSONALLY—and THANK the Lord my WIFE’S not here to GIVE a TESTIMONY this morning! However, I have been MEDITATING on that QUESTION and realize that at times it must be TOUGH to be MARRIED to ME. Do you think it would be TOUGH to MARRIED to you?
But the question I want you to ask yourself is: “WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME?”
“What is it like to be my FRIEND?” “What is it like to have me for a HUSBAND or WIFE?” “What is it like to have me for a FATHER or MOTHER?” “What is it like to have me for a SON or DAUGHTER?” “What is it like to have me for a NEIGHBOR or for an EMPLOYEE or for a BOSS?”
b. That’s the CORE of our LESSON—we have to take RESPONSIBILITY for ourselves.
2. The only PERSON I can CHANGE is ME!! That’s the POWER of ONE.
I can’t CHANGE my WIFE. I can’t CHANGE my CHILDREN. I can’t CHANGE anyone in this CHURCH. I can’t CHANGE my ELDERS.
It’s not that I haven’t TRIED, and PEOPLE have TRIED to CHANGE me. Often when people don’t CHANGE we end up getting more FRUSTRATED, and the RELATIONSHIPS becomes even more STRAINED.
3. God is the only one who can CHANGE people. I can only CHANGE me through the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
And when I finally GRASP this INFINITE TRUTH, my RELATIONSHIPS with people are going to be BETTER. Because when I start making CHANGES as to how I RELATE to other people, they will start RELATING to me differently.
C. I want you to consider two DNA TRUTHS:
1. The problem is rarely the problem. In other words: Our list of ISSUES is rarely the problem that puts a STRAIN on the RELATIONSHIP.
2. It’s never just about the other person. In order for us to have HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, we must take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our PART.
I. WE ARE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN EMOTIONS AND HAPPINESS
A. I’m sure you have heard the old joke: “If Mama’s not HAPPY, then NO ONE is HAPPY!”
1. That statement is based upon the PREMISE that Mama’s HAPPINESS determines the HAPPINESS and WELLBEING of everyone else in the house.
a. Although we know on the SURFACE that that is SILLY, deep down we believe that our HAPPINESS is contingent upon the ACTIONS of our RELATIONSHIPS.
If only my wife would quit NAGGING me about HANGING OUT with my BUDDIES, I would be so HAPPY.
If only my HUSBAND would tell me that he APPRECIATES me, I would be THRILLED.