The sermon: Relationships by Joyce Meyer. How can we get along better with all sorts of people? God's Word gives us great advice! Join Joyce for Word-inspired teaching on relationships.
In sermon Relationships Joyce Meyer says: when you're with other people and you're finished with that conversation or that time with them, they may not always remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel. Joyce Meyer: well, thank you for joining us today on "enjoying everyday life." You know, one of the ways that we can enjoy every day of our life a lot better is if we have really good relationships. I don't think there's anything better than great relationships and probably not too much that's worse than really bad relationships. And I don't know about you but I find learning how to be integrated with a lot of different people, to be a little bit interesting and quite challenging. See, here's the reason. There's only one of each one of us. We are the way we are and if everybody would be like us, we would be okay, we think. We probably wouldn't like that either 'cause most people don't even like themselves.
But the thing is, is now I want you to think about this. Everybody that you deal with is different than you are in some way. They may have a similar personality but they're different than you are. They're not gonna think the way you do, they're not gonna like what you like, they're not gonna want what you want. And so God puts us all together and says, "hey, guess what? I want you to get along really good." And there's words in the bible like "agree" and "unity" and "harmony." And the bible actually teaches us that if we can maintain that unity and harmony, oh wow, it really increases the power of God in our lives. But if we don't have that, when we're divided, then it opens the door for the enemy in our lives. And so in families, I mean, the enemy really attacks families. He really wants to get into marriages, and brother and sister relationships, and relationships with kids and their parent. And then when you get into any unit like the ministry here and you're all born again people that love God. You love the word. And yet, I know full well that there are times when you have a hard time getting along with each other. So it doesn't matter how, quote, "Godly" you are or how "born again" you are or how many times a week you go to church, you're going to deal with these issues of how do I get along good with other people. Now, it's really not rocket science if you wanna know the truth. It's amazing how we complicate things sometimes that are just pretty easy.
So I can give you one scripture that solves the whole deal: matthew :. "so whatever then that you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them." So the best way in the world to get along with everybody is to treat everybody the way you'd like to be treated. Not the way they treat you, but the way you would like to be treated. Now, this is found in matthew , verse , but prior to verse is the wonderful scriptures in matthew about, "judge not lest you be judged," the same way that you judge other people is the same way that you will be judged back. Why try to take the speck out of your brother's eye when you've got a telephone pole or a log in your own eye? And he goes through that whole thing. And then goes on to say that, you know, don't throw your pearls before swine which really, if you study that out, he's given us an ability to love people so he's pretty much saying if we don't do that then we're opening a door for the enemy in our own lives. And I think that's something we really so then he goes on to say, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Then next verses talk about, "stay on the narrow path that leads the way to life, and off the broad path that leads to destruction." So I might just say that treating other people the way we wanna be treated definitely you have to stay on the narrow path which that means there's not a lot of room for fleshly behavior and doing what we feel like and treating people the way we feel like.
It means we always have to submit our feelings to the fact of God's word which says that when we treat other people good, even if they're in the class of an enemy, if we treat them good now we throw the door wide open in our life for blessings of God to chase us down and overtake us. I'm gonna say that one more time. When we will keep our flesh under, not walk according to how we feel, but base everything on the fact of God's word, when it comes to getting along with people, if we will do what God asks us to do and we can't do it without his help, we throw the door wide open for God's blessings in our lives. Let's remember this morning that the bible even says that if we want our prayers to be answered, that when we pray we must first forgive anybody that we have anything against otherwise our prayers are not going to be effective.
So the bible actually, I think, is a book about relationships. I really believe it's one of the best books that we can ever find about relationships. But it's about three relationships: number one, our relationship with God which, if that's not right, nothing else is gonna go right. Secondly, it's about our relationship with ourselves. A lot of people don't get along with themselves so there's no hope of ever getting along with anybody else. If you don't love yourself, you're not gonna love anybody else. And then thirdly, it's about our relationship with all these different people out there. So the way this is supposed to work is God loves me, that's the fact of the word. I believe that and when I believe it I receive it so I let that come into my life and into my heart and that becomes a reality to me and then only because God loves me I can begin to love myself. I didn't say, "be in love with yourself." I'm not talking about a selfish self-centered love. I'm talking about a respect for yourself, an appreciation of what God has created, valuing yourself, being kind to yourself, being patient with yourself. How we treat ourselves ultimately is how we're gonna treat other people, amen? And so then, when that's taken care of, when you know God loves you, you've received that, you're loving him back, then you can let that love flow through you to other people. Matter of fact, the amplified bible brings it out very clearly, even in the famous corinthians chapter where the first eight verses talk about what love is, and it clarifies when it says love it says, "that is God's love in and through us." So we can't love people if we don't have our relationship with God right first. Peter :, the second half of the verse, says: "[do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, and go after them!]" So I just wanna take just a moment here to say to you, make sure that you're at peace with God, that you're not doing things that war against your conscience, that there's not hidden sin in your life that needs to be dealt with and forgiven. Think a little bit about your relationship with yourself.
Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? Are you your own worst enemy? Are you your own worst critic? And then secondly, how do you navigate and handle relationships with other people? You know, avoiding people is not having good relationships with them. I mean, we can get pretty good at just, "boy, I know what i'll do. I'll just it's just me. I don't need anybody else. I'm not gonna mess with anybody else. Who needs people?" Like one person said, "if I don't know you I don't need to know you." Well, that's not the way God wants us to be, amen? So just a few guidelines for good relationships. Number one, let people be themselves. Stop trying to change them and love them as they are and not the way you wish they would be, okay? I love that statement. Let's learn to value people the way they are, not the way we would like them to be. Corinthians : through . Paul said, "for although I am free in every way from anyone's control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for christ]." So he's, like, "look, i'm free. I can do whatever I want to. But i've decided that i'm gonna do everything I can to serve you and to get along with you and i'm not gonna do it because it's easy. I'm gonna do it because that's a way of serving christ." Verse : "to the jews I became a jew, that I might win the jews; to men under the law, [i became] as one under the law, though not myself under the law, that I might win those under the law.
To those (outside) the law I became as one without the law, not that I am without the law and lawless toward God, but that I might be committed to the law of christ, that I might win those who are without law." Hang on, we're almost done here. Verse : "to the weak (those wanting in discernment) I have become weak (wanting in discernment)," for example, let's just say that you're talking to somebody who has a weakness in something and they're trying to share with you honestly about their weakness and your response to that is how strong you are in that area, see? Paul said, "now, don't do that, you know? Just zip your lip and listen and, if need be, just let 'em think that you totally get it because you have, if not that problem, plenty of problems on your own." See, paul is saying that he became whatever he needed to be in order to help the other person. "to the weak I become weak that I might win the weak. I have [in short]," and this is really I love this verse. "[in short] I have become all things to all people, that I might win them to christ." So you know what paul is saying? Everywhere I go, i've already set my mind that i'm gonna adjust and adapt to you." Now that doesn't mean if somebody's in sin you're gonna jump in sin with them so you can be like them. That's not at all what that means. But it does mean that we're going to adapt and adjust. You know, for example, I am i'm a bottom-line person. Just tell me what you're trying to say, do it in as few words as You can, and let's get on because i've got a lot of things to do. Dave, however, is very detailed. And so it takes dave a lot longer to tell a story than it takes me to tell it. And so in my way of listening, I feel like that he's giving me a bunch of details that I don't care about. And I assume because I don't care about it, nobody else does either. Because we all think that everybody's like us. So if i'm not really careful, and I do have to be careful and I don't always succeed, when he's telling me something I can get really impatient and it will show on my face and be in my attitude and come out of my mouth.
Okay, so one of the ways that we can get along with people better is learning to know them, knowing ourselves, and then maybe just saying, "now, I know when I have lunch with that person that i'm gonna probably need to listen to things that I don't care that much about." But, see, listening is one of the ways that we can show love for people. Just listening. And you know what? If you're a talker, you're not real good at listening, usually. Because while they're talking, you're already determining what your answer's gonna be and you really hope they'll just be quiet real quick so you can say what you wanna say because you're really pretty sure that what you have to say is much more important than what they're saying, amen? So it's being willing to adapt and adjust to other people just for the sake of keeping harmony and unity and as a way to love people. I've already covered point two: learn to listen. God gave us one mouth and two ears so that obviously means he wants us to listen more than we talk. Otherwise, we'd have one ear and two mouths. If we listen to people, they will tell us what they want and need in their life. There's no excuse to ever look at anybody and say, "you know," or just think, "i'd love to get you a gift but I don't know what you like." Well, then you're not listening. You know what? If you listen to people, they'll tell you what they need. How many marriages could be saved from divorce if people were listening all along the way? What do you think is going on when a woman says to her husband, "i feel like I never see you. You're always at work or you're always out with your friends"? Well, that's a bell going off there's something here you need to fix. If we listen to people, they'll tell us what they want and what they need.
Be stingy with criticism. C'mon, we know how to be stingy. Let's be stingy with criticism. Let's think more than once or even once would do because most of the time what we say we haven't thought about it at all. Let's think more than once well, isn't that true? You know, we see something, "well, that looks dumb. Oh, boy, that looks dumb," you know? Well, how would you like it if somebody said that to you? Let's go back to matthew :: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Treat other people the way that you would like to be treated. Do you know what? A lot of times when we tell people what we see that's wrong with them, they don't really care what we think. And not only that, it's not our place to tell them. Your job is not to tell everybody else what's wrong with them. You pray for them. Now, there's a place to maybe tell somebody that your behavior's not right and you need to change that but even like with your kids, let's just be careful that we don't just nitpick and criticize and everything is something that's wrong or something that could be better. Or in your marriages, let's just don't, "well, you never do this and you never do that." Well, how about talking about what they do? Or let's find something with our children that is good. And even if you do need to bring a correction, make sure you flavor it with a lot of compliments, amen? So that's just a general guideline. I mean, if you're critical, then don't feel bad if you don't have any friends because people don't wanna be around people that are gonna criticize them all the time. And I remember one woman, my gosh, that was like this. I mean, oh, she was so bad. And she always just said, "well, i'm just trying to help you. I'm just trying to help you." Well, did I ask for your help? Does anybody want your help? And still it was just her opinion.
It was what she thought that everybody should do. But she had herself convinced that she was just trying to help people but it had to come from an attitude of pride because she thought that what she thought about what everybody should do was right, amen? Be generous with encouragement and compliments. You know, some people are more natural encouragers and edifiers, I mean, it just they don't have to work at it. It oozes out of them. Well, i've gotten a lot better at it but that was not encourager was not my initial strong gift. It would have been more like corrector, you know? And so anybody can learn to be an encouragement to other people. Pray about it before you go out of the house and ask God to help you: "everybody that I come in contact with today, let me say something to them that's gonna build them up and make them feel better about themselves." I don't care what it is, when i'm out shopping, if I think, "oh, your hair's really pretty," i'll say, "your hair really looks nice," or "that color really looks good on you." It only takes a moment to make somebody feel better. Now don't ever forget what i'm getting ready to say. When you've been with somebody, they may not always remember what you said matter of fact, they probably won't, but they will always remember how you made them feel, amen? Matter of fact, I think i'm just gonna take a moment and just say that straight to all the wonderful people that are watching by tv right now. When you're with other people and you're finished with that conversation or that time with them, they may not always remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel, amen? So see, that was worth the whole lesson today, right? Just that one thing. All right, "therefore encourage," thessalonians :. "encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing," he said. So I put, "form a habit of giving your spouse and your children at least one compliment every day." How about that? Can we give you that as a homework assignment? We're giving out homework today. Form a habit of making sure that in your home that each one of your children, your spouse, or whoever else might live in your home that you purpose to give them at least one compliment every day. Remember, that what you give to other people you're likely to get back multiplied many times over.
Don't examine people to see what all you can find wrong with them but look at what's right and mention it all. All right, good relationships require time spent together. There's no such thing as having a good relationship if you're not gonna put time into it. It's just like our relationship with God. You can be as close to God as you wanna be. It all depends on how much time you're willing to put into it. And so it's silly to think that you can have good relationships with people that you never spend any time with. Now, I do have some really good relationships with people that I don't spend that much time with now, but there was a time in our life when we spent a lot of time together and built that good relationship and so now I may only see that person twice a year but the minute that I do there's an instant connection and that friendship is there. Be careful about doing all your communicating through email and text. You know why? Because you can't see body language, you can't see facial expressions. You know, I can correct you with a frown on my face and it's gonna come across a lot worse than if I do it with a smile on my face. So don't do that unless you absolutely have no other choice. Phone would be better than text or email but in person is always the best. For relationships to be good, they cannot be one-sided. A relationship is not a relationship if one person is doing all the giving and the other person is doing all the taking. And if you are trying to be in relationship with somebody like that, then you've gotta be very careful because you may be letting them take advantage of you. And what you might have to do is put some boundaries up in your relationship. You know, I kind of decided for myself and it's been maybe years ago now, I just thought, "you know what? I'm done having one-sided relationships. I'm not gonna waste my time trying to be close I mean, i'll try to be good to everybody but i'm not gonna waste my time trying to be in close relationship with somebody that's always got their hand out or always wants something from me, but then when I need them, they're never there."
For relationships to be good, they're gonna require sacrifice at certain times. "no man has greater love than that he lay down his life for his friends." Jesus loved us and he laid his life down for us and if we are gonna be in good relationship with one another, nobody can get their way all the time. And we need to learn how to not get our way and still have a smile on our face, amen? And people that are, you know, strong-willed people and people that have got a little too much pride that always think they're right, it's kind of hard to do that. Make sure that your expectations of other people are not unrealistic. In other words, there's no perfect people. There's no perfect church. There's no perfect job. There's no perfect employer. And when we think that we are gonna just keep looking until we find the perfect situation, we're always gonna go through life being disappointed. Be kind to everyone, be friendly with everybody, but don't try to be good friends with people that you don't fit well with. And I think this is important. It's probably all that i'm gonna have time for today. But you know What? We're required to love everybody and I hope this doesn't come across wrong but we're not required to like everybody. I mean, some people, we just don't fit with as well as we do other people. Even paul and barnabas, great men of God in the bible, disagreed on something and the disagreement was so strong that they decided they could not work closely together anymore but just a little bit later, you see paul encouraging people that barnabas is worthy of their support. So he wasn't mad at barnabas. He didn't, like, not love him but they just were not a good fit to be together all the time. And so I kind of realized a long time ago and it took me a while to get here, that I am required to love everybody and i'm required to help anybody that needs help and I wanna do that. I don't ever wanna be mean to anybody. But some people you just don't fit with as well as you do other people. So don't try to, in the name of love, force yourself to be real close to somebody that is just never, ever, ever, gonna work for you. Keep the strife out of your life.
Learn how to have peaceful relationships. We care about you. We wanna invest in your life. So we have a little booklet on "enjoying successful relationships." And I think that it's gonna really help you and be a blessing to you. And so if you just call and ask us or get online and ask us, we're gonna send you this booklet as a free gift to you. Remember that God loves you and everywhere that you go, you represent him. So make sure that you're letting him flow through you and that you're a blessing to other people. Have a great day. Joyce Meyer: well, during this special season of thankfulness, i'd like to say a very heartfelt thanks to you, our friends and partners. Because of your love and support in , together we were able to help people in desperate need and share christ all over the world. Well, this year, God used your generosity to build water wells and churches in india and africa, provide millions of meals at feeding centers in many nations, and you've helped us expand our classrooms of hope in south africa and into zambia. Men, women, and children that once lived in devastation now laugh and dance because they receive clean water, nourishing food, and an education.
Together, through our project grl initiative, we have helped women and girls understand their value in christ and build new lives after the horrors of human trafficking. People all over the world without access to basic medical care received healing of their body and soul. And we were able to equip and encourage pastors in china, sharing the gospel in the midst of persecution. Here in the united states, hand of hope partnered with east coast churches to hold community outreaches for families of special needs, those devastated by tragic floods, receiving help rebuilding, giving them much-needed supplies. And also, prisoners receive biblically based Joyce Meyer meyer ministry resources reminding them that they are not forgotten and that God still loves and cares for them. Your support helps spread the gospel in more than languages around the world through our media and online channels. Those distant from God were reminded that God still has a plan for their life and that they could come back home to him. You know, we are so grateful to God for all that he allows us to be part of and we realize that we could not have done any of this without your support. Really, the ones that are most thankful are the ones that have their basic everyday and spiritual needs met. So on their behalf, I also wanna say a very heartfelt thank you, thank you, thank you. And we thank God for every day and look forward to what God has in store for us, together as we continue sharing christ and loving people. You're right there with us everywhere that we go. God bless you.