Change: How to Change Your Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Change

Ephesians 4:17-32

We looked at some ways to change unwanted behaviors the past three weeks. This week we’ll look at how to change relationships. 

Before we look at five things to do, we need to lay a foundation. Paul tells us that as Christians we need to be different (4:17-24). … We were born with an old, sinful nature but are reborn with new, righteous nature as we learned in Romans. We have to continuously take off that old self and put on the new self. We can’t do this without Jesus. These next five things can help change relationships, but they require us to be different from the world. 

  1. Put off falsehood Instead speak the truth (4:25). … Telling lies does not help build good relationships. Only those built on truth can last.
    Reason: We are all of one body. ... One member of a body lying to another is never good. It can only cause problems and throw coordination off. For a body to have full coordination, cooperation and honesty are necessary.

  2. Don’t let your anger become sin. Instead, deal with it daily (4:26-27). … Not all anger is sinful. Even Jesus got angry. However, it is easy for anger to crossover into sin. Anger can linger and build up, so it’s important to deal with, confess it to God, release it to God.
    Reason: Don’t give the Devil an opening. … As mentioned, it’s easy for anger to turn into sin, so when we let anger build up it becomes easier for the Devil to use it against us. 

  3. Do not steal. Instead, work (4:28). … A work ethic will improve relationships.
    Reason: So you can share with those in need. … When you work, you can share the fruits of your labor. Sharing improves relationships and generally makes everyone involved happier. 

  4. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. Instead, speak words that build others up (4:29-30). … It’s not enough to just not cuss. There needs to be positive words too.
    Reason: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. … The Holy Spirit lives inside us. Keyword: Holy. His role is to sanctify us and make us holy, better than we were. We need to cooperate with Him. When we don’t, He is grieved.  

  5. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, malice, shouting, abusive speech, and malice. Instead, be kind, compassionate, and forgiving. … These things we are told to get rid of all come from anger. They are all a little different, but they each need to be removed from our lives and replaced with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Sometimes that’s hard. We vehemently disagree with some people and it can make us angry to the point of bitterness or rage. It can make us want to shout at them, slander them. It’s important to not act on those inclinations but to find a way to show kindness and compassion without compromising our beliefs. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. It means you stop bringing it up, stop replaying it in your head. You don’t simply forget abusive words or physical abuse, but you can forgive it and move on.
    Reason: In Christ, God forgave you (4:31-32). … When we remember how God forgave us and how much evil we’ve done, it becomes easier to forgive that other person. If you can be forgiven for all the bad things you’ve done, that person can be forgiven too. 

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