Summary: A sermon teaching how to build up relationships with patience, listening, and perspective.
[Lynn would like to acknowledge and thank two individuals: Years ago Pastor Rick Warren wrote a Sermon Series based upon 1 Corinthians 13, and John Ortberg wrote a book entitled: Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them. Lynn relied heavily upon these two resources for this series because they deal with Relationships and Community. He would like to recognize their influence in the preparation of these messages.]
We began a sermon series, last week, that we are calling:
“connecting to our community.”
– and in this series, we are dealing with: relationships.
Because the Bible says that it’s not good for man to be alone.
the Bible teaches: we were made for community.
it’s not by accident that solitary confinement for human beings,
is considered severe punishment.
So we are looking at: relationships – as we connect to our community
and we are studying together about: learning how to love …
… for many reasons:
RELATIONSHIPS DETERMINE YOUR HAPPINESS !
they are the source of either your greatest pleasure or your
greatest pain. A relationship can either make you feel
miserable or magnificent. Psychologists tell us that most
emotional problems are rooted in wrong relationships.
most suicides happen because of unhealthy relationships.
… so relationships, determine our happiness.
2NDLY: OUR RELATIONSHIPS DETERMINE OUR SUCCESS !
The American Management Association said the number one
important skill that an executive should have is the ability to get
along with other people.
in fact, John D. Rockefeller once said: "I’ll pay anything for that".
3RDLY: OUR RELATIONSHIPS DEVELOP OUR CHARACTER.
Who you are a year from today will largely be determined
by two things: the things you allow into your mind
and the people you relate to.
The Bible says in I Cor. 15:33 (LB) "Bad company corrupts good character."
Who we spend our time with, shapes us !
in our society today relationships are fragmenting at an
alarming rate. Very few people know how to relate to others
appropriately & effectively, in fact, very few communities know
how to relate to one another appropriately and biblically …
(which is one reason why we produced The Grace Card !)
There are very few good, biblical role models around !
Far too many people in our society get their role models from
the wrong side of Hollywood … or the media …
which is kind of like: the blind leading the blind …
But the over-arching reason why we are learning how to love:
#4.: RELATIONSHIPS ARE WHAT WE WERE CREATED FOR !!
At creation … God looked at Adam and pronounced:
“it is not good for man to be alone”
As Jesus prayed his high priestly prayer … he prayed that we,
the fellowship of believers both then, and all who would later
follow – he prayed that we would be one !!
We were created in the image of God … and part of how we “become”
and develop that image within us … is in relationship
one with another !!
… because … we were created for “relationship” !!
Now, last week, we noted that the Bible says that :
Love is to be the basis of all our relationships.
We all know that.
But the problem is (as we’ve indicated) most people misunderstand love.
so we need to define it. And God dedicated an entire chapter
in the Bible to this, instructing us what love is;
and what love is not …
So today, we’re going to look at the first building block ...
I cor. 13:4, which says: "love is patient".
God says - that when you’re going to relate to other people
within your community …
If you want to have good, healthy, growing, relationships;
the first thing you need is: patience !
Now, ?> why would God know that ? …
Well, he’s had several thousand years experience dealing
with people !
He’s had to have patience ! … with you … and with me !
The word in greek literally means "it takes a long time to boil".
we talk about somebody having a short fuse; this means …
God has an extremly long fuse !
And here is what is interesting:
This word is never used in reference to anything else in the Bible
except: people. … so the word of God is teaching us:
you need to take a long time to boil
when you relate to other people !
Love is patient !
that means: it’s loving to be patient !
and … it is unloving to be impatient !!
When I’m patient with my kids I’m loving.
when I’m patient with my wife, I’m loving.
but when I’m impatient … I am unloving !
Why is patience so vital to relationships?
?> Why; … of all the things that God could have started with when he started