The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our November 11, 2018 message, Philippians Week 5.
Did you know that a car engine has 14,000 parts that work together to make a car run? 14,000! As expensive and complex as an engine is, without oil—an extremely simple and inexpensive thing—an engine will lock up and die because of heat and friction. Similar to a car engine without oil, relationships are prone to friction and damage. In order to keep unity and not damage relationships, we need humility. Humility is the oil to healthy relationships.
Overlook your differences
- We are constantly teaming up based on similarities and differences…us vs. them. We use divisive words. This will kill—and is killing—the church.
- Relationship and Communication 101: Find common ground with others.
- If you are talking to another Christian, when differences arise, starting by asking, “God, is that you?”
- As Christians, we have the same Father—we are family.
Intentionally take interest
- If humility is like oil, selfish ambition is like sand…it increases the friction and damage.
- Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. Really, it’s thinking of others more.
- When something is interesting, it pulls you in.
- When you are talking to someone, is your mind thinking about what they can do for you? Are you positioning yourself? Do you have a favorite story you can’t wait to tell? Are you trying to talk before they are finished? James 1:19 says be quick to listen and slow to speak…is that true of you?
- How do you intentionally take interest in others? Do whatever you would want your kids to do.
Look to Christ
- Can you imagine what it would have been like to be wrongly arrested, whipped, flogged, and spit on? Spit in your face? Christ experienced all of that…and took it. He is our example.
- The less humility someone else brings into a relationship, the more you have to bring.
- On earth, our humility is messy and our motives are often mixed.
- True humility doesn’t seek to benefit in any way. It just gives.
- You can’t make yourself humble, but you are humbled when you are near greatness: Grand Canyon, mountains, a lion…none of these—in all their greatness—compare to Jesus!
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Who is the unreasonable, very difficult relationship in your life? Once you’ve identified one person:
- How can you “pour oil” on that relationship?
- What common ground do you have with what person?
- What’s one way you can take interest in that person?
After spending time honestly answering the three questions above, initiate a conversation or meeting with that person and spend some time with them in the next seven days.
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