Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Relationslips
Week 1: How to Grow Up
- Johnny Carson once said: “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday when people travel thousands of miles to be with people they see only once a year, and then discover once a year is way too often!” Share with your group how you feel as you anticipate getting together with the family or other people you will spend Thanksgiving with. Are you looking forward to it, or are you dreading it, or something in between, and why?
- Read: Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Wisdom has to do with his intelligence and capacity of knowledge. Stature has to do with his physical growth and development. Favor with God and man has to do with his relationships with people, and it indicates that Jesus’ relationships were good. Jesus is our model for relational success. Imagine how Jesus must have lived in order to be one of whom it is said that he grew in favor with God and with people. Discuss with your group what you imagine he was like.
Four Truths We Need to Understand about All Relationships
- We have been created to live in relationship with one another.
- Read Genesis 2:18: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” This is not just a verse for weddings. God created humans with a need for relationships. Why do you think God made people this way?
- Read Genesis 1:26a: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….”
Notice the plural pronouns in this verse. What does that communicate about God and about what it means to be made in His likeness?
- Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21: “My prayer is not for them (his 12 disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Why do you think Jesus prayed these requests?
The slip? We don’t make relationships a priority.
Dallas Willard wrote: “God’s aim in human history is the creation of an inclusive community of loving persons, with himself included as its primary sustainer and most glorious inhabitant.”
Yogi Berra said: “If you don’t go to somebody’s funeral, they won’t go to yours!”
- What are some ways you can recognize a person who puts a high priority on relationships? What would their life look like?
- Relational success is not guaranteed or natural, it must be learned.
Pastor Dale explained some property rules that toddlers live by, which could be summarized simply by – “It’s mine!” But hopefully, as we grow up, we learn to live better than that. God wants us to grow in our ability to do relationships. But that takes some effort.
The slip? We don’t become a student within the relationships we have.
- What does it mean to “become a student” within your relationships? How do you do that?
- Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-14: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
What do you notice out of these verses regarding how people can improve their relationships?
- Every relationship can improve, but this is not necessarily easy or quick, nor will it meet all my expectations.
- If you’re in a difficult season in a relationship, don’t give up! Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.” However, as much as we may wish it were the case, we can’t just do one quick thing to fix it. If you’ve ever had a relationship that felt hopeless, but you stayed in it and saw it improve, tell about some things that helped you.
The slip? It takes two to have a relationship.
- The Serenity Prayer ends with the words, “…so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy in the next.” What does that mean?
- Read Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
What does this verse communicate to you about relationships?
- A personal relationship with Jesus provides the best opportunity for all my relational success.
- How does a relationship with Jesus impact a person’s other relationships?
The Slip? I can do it all by myself.
- In the movie, Jerry McGuire, Tom Cruise says to Renee Zellweger, “You complete me.” What happens if a person puts all their hope in one person to complete them?