We started a new series at church called the 9 Habits for Healthy Relationships. It will focus on Galatians 5:22-23 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit (results) in us: love, joy, peace ,patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
I wanted to be able to refer back to our Pastor’s teachings and share what we are learning because I find this to be a fascinating series, Each week I will add a brief commentary to this page as we discuss a new topic. You can view the recording of our sermon each week or watch it live by clicking on this link around 9:30 every Sunday morning: Sugar Creek Baptist Church
Week 1 – Love – The habit that impacts everything else.
Every positive trait that impacts our character and relationships emerges from love. It is a misconception that love is a feeling and that is uncontrollable. While both of these are factual about infatuation, it is not about actual love.
The Bible uses four words for love: 1. Eros is sexual love. 2. Phileo is brotherly love. 3. Storge is the affection of a parent for a child or a child for a parent. 4. Agape is a selfless love, an endless and unconditional love that is demonstrated by the character qualities of God. It is love of the highest level. A love that is brought to maturity. To develop Agape love in your relationship you must first make a decision to do so, followed by taking actions to do so. Love is a commandment that is demonstrated by a commitment.
We all know the bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13:7-8: “Love always protects, love always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”. Always has the idea of consistency. The key to success in anything that lasts is consistency. Relationships that last consistently protect the people you love by defending them and sharing in their hurt. We protect our relationship when we carry those we love. Relationships that last build a lasting trust by keeping our promises, not taking wrongful advantage of each other, doing the right thing even when no one is watching and doing all of these things consistently over time. Relationships that last keep feeding hope into the friendship. Hope is the desire and the search for a future good that is difficult but not impossible to attain with God’s help. To feed hope keep focusing on the positive instead of the negatives. Have a willingness to forgive. Choose to look to the future when the present is doubtful. Relationships that last refuse to quit, they always perseveres.
Week 2 – Joy – The habit that makes life worth living.
We went through the word JOYFUL as follows:
J – Jettison all regrets from my past: This first thing that needs to happen to build the habit of joy into our lives is that we have to let go of the regrets about our past. In order to jettison our regrets we must first deal with them honestly. The starting point of joy is to deal with and then let go of the past. Jettison all regrets, the grief, the grudges and the guilt.
O – Omit all worries about my future: Just as our regrets can’t change our past our worries cannot change our future. The old English word for worry means to choke or to strangle. Remember Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
Y – Yield yourself to God’s purpose: God’s purpose will have some expression of loving Him and loving others. Look for the unique way He wants you to do that.
F – Focus on what is good: The more you fill your mind with the promises of God’s word, the more positive and joyful you will be.
U – Use your life to help others: “Lord, use me!”. Help others. Philippians 2:3-4 “Don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take on interest in others, too”
L – Learn to be content: God does not mean that we are to be content with “status quo”. But we are to be content with His leadership in our life. And we are to be content with His provisions in our life. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that”.
Week 3 – Peace – The habit that calms relationships
These four keys will open the door to peace of mind. Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always for the Lord God is the eternal rock”
1. Make a decision that worry is an enemy that you can and you will control in your life. Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing” We can control the issue of worry in our life if we choose to do so. The Bible presents worry as a learned behavior which can also be unlearned.
2. Begin to pray about everything. If it is big enough to worry about it is big enough to pray about. 1 Peter 5:7 “Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” Worry destroys your system from the inside and out. Stop it.
3. Develop a thankful attitude. Start thanking God for everything good and for every difficult situation that comes to your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” Having a grateful attitude actually increases your immunities. Gratitude will allow you to get the focus off of your problems and puts more focus on the benefits in our life. The end result will be a lower stress level and more peace of mind.
4. Discipline your mind about what you will allow it do dwell on. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever it pure, whatever it lovely, what ever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things”. Use these descriptive words as 8 filters for what you will allow your mind to dwell on.