Summary: Relationships are very difficult to manage. Add in the stress from outside sources and it’s even more difficult. How do we nurture relationships to health? While certainly not exhaustive, this sermon touches on the issue!

Relational Health: Getting Along With People

By Shannon Lewis Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Living Springs Assembly of God

Bandera, Texas

Philippians 2: 1-5

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,…

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…

Tonight we begin a 2 part series. I want to speak with you on a subject that affects us all in many different ways, Relationships.

We all have them and not all of them are good. Some of our relationships are strained at best because of certain problems that have caused hurt, pain and anger.

Tonight I hope to show us all a better way to dealing with our relationships. Don’t think that our relationships with others aren’t important. You’d be sorely mistaken if you did.

We can live only in relationships. We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin? He decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of the human voice. He reasoned that they would eventually speak the natural tongue of man. Wet nurses who were sworn to absolute silence were obtained, and though it was difficult for them, they would abide by the rule. The infants never heard a word -- not a sound from a human voice. Within several months they were all dead.

Like it or not, we need one another!

Single men are jailed more often, earn less, have more illnesses and die at a younger age than married men. Married men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer.

Women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers. Married or not, relationships keep us alive.

The Carnegie Technological Institute has stated that 90% of all people who fail in their life’s vocation fail because they cannot get along with people.

Our relationships, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy play a vital role in our lives. It’s best to work on creating healthy relationships with other people in order to maintain our own health.

Healthy relationships yield wonderful benefits. Conversely, unhealthy relationships yield terrible results.

I want to focus on 7 things that can help us create and nurture healthy relationships in our lives.

Verse 3 in our text speaks volumes toward creating and nurturing healthy relationships. Listen to what Paul says again, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

So part of enjoying healthy relationships mean that we don’t live as if all the benefits of that relationship belong to us. Instead, we seek to consider others above ourselves. This attitude frees us from the attitude of self-centeredness. I would dare say that most poor relationships are poor because this key ingredient is missing. Humility is not evident and as a result we are unwilling to place others over ourselves.

The 7 things that we’re going to look at in this 2 weeks series on Relationships are:

• The 6 most important words

• The 5 most important words

• The 4 most important words

• The 3 most important words

• The 2 most important words

• The 1 most important word

• The LEAST important word

Tonight we’ll consider the first 3 sets of most important words.

The 6 most important words are:

“I admit I made a mistake.”

If your relationships are going to be healthy ones, you must be able to speak from the heart the 6 most important words, “I admit I made a mistake.”

Many of our relational problems are because we’re unwilling to speak these all important words. We blame the other party when things go south. “It’s your fault it didn’t work!” those six words are the most dangerous words! When we say things like that, we’re not accepting our responsibility but placing it squarely on the shoulders of the other party! This is not only wrong, it’s not fair. We all know it takes at least 2 to have a relationship and if it falls apart there are still 2 people to consider when finding the solution to the problem.

To say I admit I made a mistake goes much further and allows many more doors to open for progress than does “It’s your fault it didn’t work”.

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