This is a teaching from my (VERY WISE) Pastor, Kevin Gerald. It is helping me today.
HOW OUR RELATIONSHIPS INFLUENCE OUR LIVES AND DESTINY
Who you align yourself with will affect what you become in your future. Do not under estimate the influence your relationships are having on your life! The Bible emphasizes the VALUE of relationship with the right kind of people and the consequences of relationships with the wrong people.
- Proverbs 14:7 "Stay away from foolish men"
- Proverbs 13:20 "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm"
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 "Bad company corrupts good character"
1. The four areas of relational alignment that most impact your life
a. your marriage - the kind of person you marry will have an immeasurable impact on your life.
- if you marry a lazy man, Proverbs 10:14 says, "a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day, restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand."
b. your church - the kind of church you attend is a "relational alignment" that will have impact on your life.
- many styles of Christian church with different emphases
- not all churches teach the Word of God
- some churches do not expect commitment
c. your co-workers - the kind of people yo uwork around is a relational alignment that will impact your life
d. your social ties - these are the people you are with by choice, not by obligation.
2. Make it your goal to be friendly and courteous to everyone, but also make it your goal to consciously decide who will and will not have influence in your life.
a. Failure to consciously choose will result in the wrong people having influence on you (it will happen)
b. When you consciously choose, you are "qualifying" people for an influential role in your life
c. Relatives - some of your relatives are the kind of people you do not want influencing you.
d. Like personalities - some of the most likeable people who are funny and charming are not necessarily a good influence in your life.
e. Decide in what ways a person has influence in your life.
- These are people you could learn a trade from, but the minute they start to talk about the meaning of a certain scripture and it's different than what lines up with the Word of God, their influence should be reduced to zero!
- There are people who you can enjoy a recreational activity with (like golfing or fishing) who are not qualified to be your marriage counselor.
3. Reserve your inner circle for people...
a. Who are committed to a Biblical worldview
- Meaning they govern their lives, choices, behavior by the teachings of The Bible. It's not just a religion to them, but a lifestyle.
b. Who bring out the best in you.
- Meaning they help you be the person you want to be accomplishing what you want to accomplish
4. How our relationships influence our lives and destiny
a. The people we align ourselves with will influence who we become in life.
- Proverbs 14:7 "Stay away from a foolish man"
- Proverbs 13:20 "He who walks with the wise grows with the wise but a companion of fools suffers harm "
- He who knows no, and know not that he knows not, is a goof; shun him.
- He who knows no, and know that he knows not is a child; teach him.
- He who knows no, and knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
- He who knows and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.
3. Decide who you want to spend time with.
a. 1 Corinthians 15:33 - "Bad company corrupts good character"
b. 1 Corinthians 5:11 - "If anyone who claims to be a brother, with such a man do not even eat"
c. Proverbs 27:17 - "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"
4. Once you realize how vital your relationships are to your life and future, you will begin to recognize some of your relationships as "God designed connections"
a. Joseph's connect with a butler
b. Esther's connection to the King
c. David's relationship with Jonathan
d. An Ethiopian crossing the desert sees Phillip
e. Elijah and Elisha
5. How to recognize God designed relationships in your life.
a. Five areas God places people in your life for you to recognize:
- Partners - These people share a common interst/goal
- Mentors - They produce change in us
- Proteges - They learn from us
- Friends - they affirm us, are committed to us
- Contacts - they network us
- When you recognize the role these people have in your life, you will experience the purpose for God putting them in your life. It's our responsibility to recognize their role, by recognizing their role we release "The God Plan".
- For example, Don't make the mistake of trying to force contacts into being friends. (God will bring "contacts" into your life that he doesn't intend you to become closer to.) Also, when you find a mentor, be content to be a good student. (Mentors do not have to know you to fulfill God purpose.)
b. Secondly, develop the ability to relate to a variety of people. The more people you are able to relate to, the more opportunities you create for God to enlarge you and use you.
- Jesus related well to a variety of people although he was selective with his inner circle.
- Religious leaders
- Tax collectors
- Wealthy (Nicodemus/Influential)
- Common people
- Don't get stuck with one person that you pull all your relational energy into.
- Your identity gets wrapped up in one person
- Biased views, judgmentalism, criticism grow in that atmosphere
c. Here are examples of the kinds of people who struggle relationally:
- Spy people - Become suspicious that everyone is out to get them
- Fry people - Get mad, fizzle and burn out of relationships
- Lie people - Has an excuse for every mistake
- Cry people - Overly sensitive, martyrs who only relate with those who are sympathetic
- Sigh people - Do not contribute to relationships
- Fly people - Soar relationally, have mentors, proteges, friends and contacts and value all of them as instruments of God in their life.