The Relationship Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“Have Mercy!” I must evaluate all of my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me, ask forgiveness and make restitution for harm that I have done to others. 

The Relationship Choice

The fifth key to life is to be an agent of mercy in the world.

You can transform your relationships through mercy.

God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 5:7

What does mercy look like in my relationships?

1. Be patient with the “quirks” and differences of others.

Be patient with one another, making an allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Ephesians 4:2

The wisdom that comes from heaven is pure, peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. Wisdom is full of mercy,

James 3:17

2. Help those who are hurting around me. 

Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.

Proverbs 3:27

When you do acts of mercy, show mercy with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:8

3. Give others another chance. 

Don’t get bitter or angry or use harsh words that hurt each other. Don’t yell at one another or curse or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

Ephesians 4:31-32

4. Do good to people that hurt me.

Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be called children of the Most High, because God is merciful to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father in heaven is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36

5. Be kind to those who offend me.

Even though I once was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief…I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for others who would believe on him and have eternal life.

I Timothy 1:13,16

Show mercy to those who have doubts. Save others by snatching them from the fire. Show mercy to them, while being careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.

Jude 1:22-23

6. Reach out to the rejected and disliked.

Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”, they asked his disciples. When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor - sick people do. Go learn the meaning of the Scripture, ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices!’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”

Matthew 9:10-13 

7. Value relationships over rules. 

Another time Jesus was walking through some grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began to pick some grain and eat it. Some Pharisees saw this and protested, “Your disciples are breaking God’s law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath!” But Jesus said, “Haven’t you ever read what King David did when he and his soldiers were hungry? He went into the house of God and they ate the holy bread reserved for the priests...You would not have judged these innocent men if you knew the real meaning of the Scripture. ‘I want you to be merciful. I don’t want your sacrifices!’ For I am the Lord of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12:1-8

BOTTOM LINE:Life will be no better than my relationships. Mercy is essential.

1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) Remind yourself regularly of how God has shown you mercy.
3) Schedule a Freedom in Christ appointment if you have unforgiveness in your heart.
4) Complete at least one radical, premeditated act of mercy this week.