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Sermon Notes

Relationship Repair

Wisdom from Proverbs

Introduction

  • You can’t make it in life without right relationships.
  • Relationships can make or break us.

A wise person understands the Constant Need for relationship repair.

“Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.”

Prov. 10:18

  • Hatred throughout Proverbs means ill-will

i.e.  You are hating someone when you are finding happiness in their unhappiness.

“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; When they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.”

Proverbs 24:17,18

  • If you gloat over someone’s fall – that’s a seed of hate. There’s enormous potential for evil in it.
  • Slander is any communication that is designed to diminish the person in the eyes of the listener. It’s ill-will.
  • Slander destroys community.

How Hatred Twists Us

Do not testify against your neighbor without cause— would you use your lips to mislead? Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.” Proverbs 24:28, 29

Tools for Repair

  1. Resist Superiority

“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:12,13

  • A man who derides his neighbor, literally reads “a man without a heart judges his neighbor.”
  • In the Bible, the heart means the core of your being – its your mind, will and emotions. It’s who you are!
  • Superiority causes us to exaggerate our righteousness, our goodness while exaggerating the other person’s wrong.
  1. Release from Liability
  • Proverbs 24:28,29

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, But whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Proverbs 17:9

  • To cover over a sin is to stop repeating it.
  • To cover over an offense is to pay the cost (forgiveness)
  • You don’t feel forgiveness first, you act out of forgiveness.

You can either be twisted into what twisted you, or you can forgive.

Those are the only two alternatives.

  1. Overcome Evil with Good

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21.22

Question: Can you hurt more for them, than you are by them?

  1. Confront Them

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs  27:5,6

  • The most unloving thing possible is to let someone continue doing the wrong thing. You must challenge them in love.

“If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently..” Galatians 6:1

That’s Impossible!

  • Forgiveness is a tool that requires spiritual power.
  • Look at Jesus

Questions for Reflection

–  Are you willing to say the same thing over those who have offended you, who have wounded you?

–  Are you willing to let go of the superiority?  (I’m OK, you are so messed up.)

–  Will you release them from liability, not excusing what they’ve done, but to stop the hate (ill-will) you have in your heart toward them?  (payback, grudges)

–  Are you willing to overcome evil with good? (a gesture)

–  Are you willing to confront them?