Friends: We’re Better Together

FRIENDS: WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER

Part 2 – The First Step To Stronger Friendships
Selected Scriptures

September 19, 2021
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

INTRODUCTION

A. Philippians 3:13-14 I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But this one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

B. Fixing the present requires letting go of the past. This is an important part of working on ourselves first.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” (Nelson Mandela)

1. LET GO OF YOUR GRUDGES

A. Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate toward one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.

B. Job 5:2 To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do. (Good News)

1. Choose to stop the resentment.

a. Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness…be put away from you.

b. We can’t feel our way into doing. We have to do our way into feeling.

c. Letting go of a past offense is an act of your will.

2. Choose to be kind to others even when you don’t want to be.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (NASB)

3. Choose to be tender-hearted.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (NASB)

2. ALLOW GOD TO HEAL YOUR GRIEF

A. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep (have died), so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. (NASB)

B. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 …First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. (MSG)

C. When we go through deep grief, how do we get to the other side?

1. Accept what cannot be changed.

2. Balance our pain with our hope. Be willing to have new goals.

3. Be willing to focus on what remains.

3. SHED YOUR GUILT

A. To clean up our past and begin again, we must openly confess our faults to God.

1. 1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2. What does guilt do to us?

a. Guilt destroys our confidence.

b. Guilt damages our relationships.

c. Guilt keeps us stuck in the past.

B. How do we remove guilt from our life?

1. First, I take a personal moral inventory.

Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them.

2. Second, accept responsibility for your faults.

Proverbs 20:27 The Lord gave us a mind and a conscience. We cannot hide from ourselves. (GNT)

3. Ask God for forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

4. Admit your fault toward someone you have offended and ask forgiveness.

5. Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.

a. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

b. Psalm 32:1-2 What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven. 2 What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.