Sun, 2018-02-25 12:01
3. Building strong Families & forging great Relationships
Subtitle: Character, Communication & Charisma
We are currently moving through a series of messages focused on “family” and on “relationships”. We are studying God’s Word to (re)discover:
Ø God’s purpose and design for the family
Ø God’s plan and methods towards healthier relationships
Ø God’s intention to help each of us to live more fulfilled lives
Last Sunday we spoke about the skill of parenting.
Today we are speaking about three areas that are vital towards strong families and great relationships.
All three of these vital areas begin with the letter “C”:
What has character to do with strong families and great relationships?
Character is an internal quality (or lack of it) that will produce external results.
Definition of the word “Character”
A. The attributes, qualities and features that make up and distinguish an individual
B. The mental, moral and ethical distinctive of an individual
The Greek root word for character means: to scratch, to engrave
Whatever is engraved in our heart, in our character will eventually come out in our relationships.
Proverbs 4:23 (Brenton LXX En) Keep your heart with the utmost care; for out of these are the issues of life.
… issues of life… NASB … springs of life … NET … sources of life …
Every river has a spring, a source. Our heart is the spring or source of our life.
(TNIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Our whole life has at its source that which is in our heart.
Mark 7:18–23 (NKJV) So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Jesus taught His disciples that eating with unwashed hands or from (ritually) unwashed dishes would not defile them. Instead, any defilement in their lives came from what was in their heart.
James 4:1 (NCV) Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you.
James 4:8 (NKJV) … purify your hearts …
The Pharisees and Sadducees were busy purifying their pots and pans and washing their hands in a special way, yet they completely neglected their hearts.
If we find ourselves in a relationship breakdown, we should check what’s in our own heart.
Proverbs 16:24 (NIrV) Pleasant words are like honey. They are sweet to the spirit and bring healing to the body.
Pleasant words spring forth from a happy and peaceful heart and they bring sweetness and healing to our relationship.
Proverbs 12:18 (ESV) There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Rash words spring forth from an unhappy and troubled heart and bring bitterness and strive to our relationships.
We project our character into our environment and into our relationship.
If we have any type of brokenness in our heart, we project that brokenness into our relationships.
Ø Rejection & insecurity
Ø Bitterness & resentment
Quote by Dr. Ed Cole:
“Communication is the basis of life. When communication breaks down, abnormality sets in.”
If we communicate peacefully, we have a good basis for our relationships.
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV) A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 16:28 (NKJV) A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.
Ephesians 4:29 (KJV) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Colossians 3:8 (KJV) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Charisma speaks about our giftedness which are our God-given personality traits and talents.
Charisma is given to us by God – character is developed by our efforts.
We should not rely on our charisma to get us through life – we should develop our character and make it our distinguishing feature in our lives.
Matthew 7:15 (Msg) Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character.
Proverbs 18:16 (NKJV) A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.
Your gift or charisma can take you somewhere, but only your character can keep you there.