An important truth to always remember is that if God can raise His Son from the dead, He can work in your life.
The gospel starts out with a transformed vertical relationship that begins to alter for the better our horizontal relationships. The power of the gospel transforms you, transforms your relationships.
If you are a Christian, there should be a growing change in you as a husband, wife, sons, daughters, employees and employers.
In the book of Proverbs, we find a collection of general principles of how the world works. God set up a system, patterns in the world to teach us wisdom. Throughout this book we see the wise person and the foolish person juxtaposed against one another.
The goal is to make wiser decisions, particularly when it comes to relating to one another in the family. Wisdom is simply making better choices more often.
Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother who is offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and quarrels are like the bars of a citadel.” In other words, it would be easier to bust into a castle than to make forward progress in a family where offenses have been done.
A few verses later we read, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” You can either give life to people or bring death to people with your words. It is your choice! You can speak life into your wife, husband, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, or you can speak death.
Four Ways to change your relationship with family & friends
- Understand when it comes to what you say, words reveal your true heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” It is important to guard your heart. What you say reveals who you are.
Remember that if everything is a big deal, then nothing is a big deal. You do not have to answer everything. The heart in the Bible is the term for mind, emotions, soul, and will. It is the steering wheel of your life.
Have you ever said something, and immediately thought, ‘I wish I had not said that’ Then you said, that is not me. It would not have come out of you, if it was not in you to begin with.
What happened? Pressure, temper, circumstances got to you and the self-control was gone, and the real you came out. This is why we apply the gospel to ourselves so we can be remade and be more like Jesus.
It is not just what you say, but how you respond. One of the teachings of Proverbs is that we have a natural bent to be a fool and have blind spots. The key to growing and changing is in how teachable you are.
- Understand that wisdom says respond slowly
Proverbs 4:26 says, “Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established.” Wisdom teaches that you need to ponder where this pattern of life is taking you. Before you react, say something, you ask yourself, “is this really worth it?”
The wise person does not die on every hill, the wise person does not have to be always right.
Proverbs 21 says, “Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious person to kindle strife.” This is the picture of someone who has to be right, someone who always has to have the last word.
Proverbs 11:29, “One who troubles his own house will inherit wind, and the foolish will be servant to the wise-hearted.” Wisdom does not mean perfection. Wisdom helps people make better choices.
- Understand how to apply the gospel and release the debts
Proverbs 17:9, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.” The word cover in this verse does not mean acting as if it did not happen, it does mean the offense was paid for. A wise man covers and offense, a fool repeats a matter.
Proverbs 20:22, “Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” People really change when we show grace to them when they did not deserve it.
- Encourage others when you want to criticize them
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org and make sure you subscribe to receive these weekly encouragements in your inbox.