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2021 online sermons » Andy Stanley » Andy Stanley - Instructions Not Included

Andy Stanley - Instructions Not Included

Andy Stanley - Instructions Not Included
TOPICS: Re-Assembly Required, Relationship

So 27 years ago, I'm sitting in my dad's office at his church. It's just my dad, and it's two of us, and a counselor, again. And we're meeting with our counselor every week, trying to figure out how to fix our broken, damaged relationship. And the strange thing is if you can kinda put yourself in our position for just a minute, we'd spent our whole careers telling people how to fix broken, damaged relationships, and now we had one, and we're the experts. And we were stuck, and we were angry, and we were hurt. And here's why, because he saw things his way, and I saw things the right way. And I could not understand for the life of me why we weren't making any progress. I mean, it was this simple, "Dad, if you will just see things my way, we'll be on our way".

Now, you laugh, and the reason you laugh is because I know what you're thinking, you're thinking finally, someone understands me. Finally, someone understands the situation and the circumstances I am in, as I try to navigate difficult relationships. If you think about your current fractured relationship, a distant, fractured relationship that's actually just been, it's been broken for a long, long time. It could be recent, distant, it could be family, work, a good friend, and there's just been this weird thing and now it's just awkward and you can tell you're drifting apart, or maybe it's a brother or sister, again, a family member. But isn't it true? I mean, isn't it true that if they would just see it your way, everything would be okay. So, since we all have that in common, I thought for the next few weeks we would address a question that I know that many of you have been asking maybe for many, many years. And the question is what's wrong with these people?

So the title of our brand new series is how to get people to see things your way. The subtitle being, which is of course the right way. Because until they see things your way, which is the right way, they're just holding up progress, they're just making it awkward for your family, nobody can move forward, the family's in turmoil, it's ruined one Thanksgiving, or two, or three, it's about to ruin another or perhaps Christmas. And again, if they would just see things your way, things would be okay, and so for the next few weeks, we're gonna talk about how to get them to see things your way. This is gonna work. If you've got that ninth grader who just doesn't understand why biology is important, and you've explained to your ninth grade son or daughter, look, biology is important because if you'll make an A in biology, you'll keep your GPA up, which means you have more university options, and more scholarship options, better job options, and then when you ultimately retire some day, or even before that, you'll be able to take care of me.

So ninth grade biology is a really, really, really big deal, your future depends on it, and we're gonna talk about how to convince a ninth grader that ninth grade biology is important. It's also, it's that thing that some of you have where your mother, or maybe your mother-in-law comes to visit you. And you just see her walking around your house, judging, judging, judging, judging, judging, judging, judging. And we're gonna talk about how to convince her to knock it off so that you'll feel like you could invite her over more often. Or maybe it's that brother, or maybe your brother-in-law. Three years ago you had that thing at Christmas where somebody said that awkward thing, you think he said it, he thinks you said it. But anyway, for three years it's been weird, it's been awkward, you've been kinda doing the vacation, when are we gonna be there kind of negotiating times with families. And this is gonna help you convince your brother, or maybe he's your brother-in-law, no matter how long ago it happened that he was wrong, and consequently, you're gonna be able to fix this.

So I wanna just jump right in, because this is a little bit complicated. To get people to see things your way, and this is the bonus, and to get them to apologize. See, I know, you're just relieved, that's why you're laughing, finally somebody's gonna talk about something practical up here. You're gonna have to master the tools for relationship management. And this is important to remember. Remember, people need to be managed. So I came up with what I call The C4 Approach to Relationship Management. Now, C4 is also a common variety plastic explosive, that is completely coincidental, okay? The C4 Approach to Relationship Management. This approach, the perception of this approach is that it brings people together. But in reality, it's not bringing people together, it's bringing people towards you so they can see the world the way that you do, and they're never even gonna know it's happening.

Now, there are four components to this, this why it's called The C4 Approach to Relationship Management. And here they are, I'm gonna give them to you up front then we're gonna talk about one every week. Convince, convict, coerce, control. Convince, convict, they all start with C to make this simple. We're gonna master these. Convince, convict, coerce, control. I just want us to say these together, because this is the way forward for your relationships. All together, ready? One more time. Yeah, so I know, you're so relieved you can't help but laugh, it's just exciting, yeah. So we're gonna take each one of these over the next four weeks and kinda tease it out, and I'm gonna teach you how to master this. Now, if you're harboring any doubts regarding the effectiveness of this approach to relationships, just consider how effective this has been in bringing our nation together. I know, right? But if you're still not convinced, these folks weren't either until they began using The C4 Approach to Relationship Management, watch this.

- The C4 Approach to Relationship Management has completely turned our marriage around.
- Oh, absolutely. So close to just failing, you know? All four C's are complete game changers. Convince, coerce, convict, and control. If there was a fifth C it'd be cool.

- Six months ago, I was gonna take a week and a half off for my wedding and honeymoon. The day before I headed out to the resort, Lisa told me that she needed a pitch deck done in a day and a half.
- And what did I say?
- You said, "Looks like you'll need to postpone that wedding". I'm single. Now.

- My relationship with my son has always been very interesting. He loves acting, but I love football. He's my son, he lives at my house, so he should be playing my favorite sport. The C4 Approach to Relationships understands that, and helps me call all the right plays.
- I can't wait to try on my costume.
- Uniform.
- And then go to my audition.
- Try out. Hey, what do you do when you score?
- You bow.
- Spike it, son. You spike it. Hut, hut, hut.

- Check out The C4 Approach to Relationships ASAP. You'll learn things like how to shame journal.
- I started a shame journal myself, and it's just a detailed list of every time that Emily has hurt me or let me down. And now when we have an argument, I just read her a few entries, and before you know it, she sees things my way.
- I've been journaling since eighth grade, yeah.

One word of warning about this. It's very important that you not share this content with those other people. Because as irrational as this is, they are convinced that you are the problem. And if they get their hands on this tool, you're liable to begin moving in their direction. Because after all, you respond and I respond, we all respond well to being convinced of things, and convicted of things, shaming, and coercing, and being controlled. I mean, don't, don't these just help draw you closer to the people around you? I mean, don't we all know this is the way forward? No, of course it's not. Didn't work on, didn't work on me, it doesn't work on anybody. But here's the odd thing, the strange thing, this is why we're gonna talk about it for a few weeks. The strange thing is, even though you look at that and you go, yeah, that's not the way forward.

In spite of all that, these are the things we almost always reach for first, either intentionally, or as we're gonna see, even unintentionally. We reach for them first and they make things worse. Nothing gets resolved, nothing gets settled, and then you tell yourself, well, there's nothin' I can do about it. I tried, and besides that, you know what? I just don't even care, I just don't even care. Or we just keep pressing, pressing, pressing, and pressing and trying to fix the relationship the wrong way, which means things continue to go wrong, and we end up pushing people even further away. Now, the odd thing about this is that on the surface, it doesn't seem like it should be that difficult to fix a relationship, does it? I mean, it just seems like we should just be able to do this. But it is difficult. And that's why I decided we really do need to talk about it.

So today we are starting a brand new series, but the actual title is Reassembly Required, A Beginner's Guide to Repairing Broken Relationships. Reassembly Required, A Beginner's Guide to Repairing Broken Relationships. And in this series, I'm gonna give you, suggest four decisions that you have to make to pave the way toward reconciling with another person. Just four decisions that you have to make to reconcile with other people. We're gonna talk about the first one next time, today's kind of an introduction and a setup for the entire series. And the best way to understand why this is not intuitive is to think about your car. We're better at starting our cars, and even driving our cars, than repairing our cars, right? You can start it, you can drive it, but when something goes wrong, you really don't know what to do. And the same thing is true when it comes to a relationship. That starting a relationship is somewhat intuitive, managing or navigating a relationship is somewhat intuitive, but fixing a relationship, fixing one, isn't only not intuitive, it is the opposite of intuitive.

Again, everything we reach for initially is generally the wrong thing. Our initial moves are almost always the wrong moves. And while we know, this is what's so strange about this, while we know that these four things don't work, we're not even aware sometimes that we're using them. I wanna give you two quick examples to kind of move this forward. Here is a controlling statement that when you use it, you are not aware of the fact that you were trying to control the other person. In fact, we hear this statement in media all the time when people make apologies. And it sounds a little odd when we hear it, but we don't know why, and then we use it. But this is someone who in their mind is thinking, you know what? I'm trying to fix this relationship, I'm trying to repair this relationship. And so we say things like this, "I'm sorry if I offended you. I'm sorry, I am movin' in your direction. I'm trying to fix this relationship. Clearly, there's something wrong. I'm sorry if I offended you".

Look, how magnanimous of me, I'm apologizing. But do you know what this actually communicates? What this communicates is, you are too easily offended. That's what that says. I'm sorry if I offended you. I didn't know I was offending you because, well, what I said actually would not have offended most people. So you are less mature than, and you are less dialed in than most people, so if I offended you, knowing that what I said wouldn't offend most people, but if I offended you, a little pat on the head, a little side hug. If I offended you, I am so sorry. And then we wonder why people aren't like, "You know, I just feel so much better". You just insulted them and you didn't mean to, but here's why. Because fixing and repairing or reassembling a relationship is not intuitive.

Here's another one. This is both convicting and coercive, somewhat passive aggressive. And we have all been guilty of this, and parents, goodness, we go here with our children all the time and we should stop. And if we had time, I would tell you why, but this does not come across, this does not feel on the other side of us, what we think we're making people feel. And again, our intentions are good, our intentions are right, but repairing a relationship isn't easy, and it's not intuitive. "I said I'm sorry. Why are you still upset"? I said I'm sorry, I mean, I came your direction, I'm acknowledging that I did something wrong. I said I'm sorry. Why are you still upset? It should be fine, and I'll translate it, I've done my part, you should be fine now. Since you're not fine, clearly, something's wrong with you. See, I did my part and you're not fine yet, so clearly I'm the better person because I said I'm sorry, and you should accept my apology, and we should be back to where we were before I insulted your parents.

We should be back to where we were before I criticized you in front of your friends. We should be back to where we were before I said what I said, or did what I did. And we're not back to where we were and I've done my part, so what's wrong with you? Now, I may have just saved your marriage right here. This might be worth the price of admission, gentlemen. Because this is kinda where we go, I kind of, I'm humbling myself and apologizing, and you're still upset, and you still won't talk to me. What's wrong? Because fixing and repairing a relationship, even the one that's been broken long term, or short term, or a minor infraction, it's not intuitive, and we just intuitively reach for all the wrong tools, and we say all the wrong things. Now there's a bunch more we could talk about.

Here's the thing, reassembling a broken relationship. Resembling a broken relationship is a learned skill. And most of us were never taught how to do this, and many of us have never even seen it modeled. Well, just think about, some of you think about your parents. Your parents were estranged from a brother, or a sister, or maybe a dear friend, they had this friend for years, and years, and years, and then something happened. And maybe growing up, or even as an adult, you hear your parents talking about, well this person, and every time their name comes up, or every time something about them surfaces, you can tell it's just not good. And you've heard their side of the story, and even when you hear their side of the story, and this isn't just true of your parents, this is true about a lot of people. When we're on the outside and we listen to what they're so upset about, and we listen to what divided these people that used to be close, especially family members.

Isn't it true that on the outside looking in, you think to yourself, that's just silly. I mean, that's just silly, just call her. I mean, here's the, pick up your phone and call her. Look, just invite him to lunch. Hey look, why don't you two just go out with that other couple. I mean, from the outside looking in, just fix it, just reassemble it, just reconcile. You don't wanna let this thing go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, right? Because it leads, again to the holiday avoidance dance. Now when, tell me one more time, when are they coming? And how long are they staying? Yeah, I think we get there the next day, ah, we don't overlap again for the last 12 years. Or we play the graduation and the wedding no eye contact thing, 'cause now you're in a social environment and there they are. And they know, and you know, so you kinda do the dance. And then let this go for too long, and this is the business I'm in. Then somebody gets injured or somebody dies, then there's a funeral, or there's again, there's an accident. And suddenly you find yourself in an environment, a very emotional environment.

And I've seen this so many times. And in that moment, that thing that was so big, that was so consequential, that mountain we'll never get over, that offense that I'll never be able to fully forgive. Suddenly in the midst of tragedy, it gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and smaller. And in those moments do you know what people do? They do and they say what they should've done and what they should've said a long time ago. And because they didn't do what they should've done or say what they should've said a long time ago, in some cases they missed out on years of relationship. And maybe you've had this experience, or you've watched it play out. And once people, especially family members, come back together and kinda get over whatever it was, it appears so small and so inconsequential, and they always walk away thinking the same thing. Why did it take so long for us to repair, reconcile, or reassemble that relationship? They spent months or in some cases, years, just waiting, rehearsing.

Let me tell you the story one more time, let me tell you this story one more time. Here's the narrative, here's why it's never gonna work out. Or of simply avoiding. Now here's the thing, this is very personal, it's very emotional, so I accept that as we move through this content. Here's the thing. Waiting for the other person, this is what ends up happening. You end up waiting for the other person to do what you should do. And the reason you should do it is because you're the better person. Right? Here's how I know you think you're the better person, because when you rehearse those narratives about why things are so bad, it's their fault. Well, if it's their fault, you're the better person, and the better person should initiate reconciling the relationship.

So, back to my dad. So we're sitting there, this had gone on and on. So finally, I think I've told you this part of the story before. So one afternoon, it was just so awkward. We're at a Mexican restaurant, we hadn't ordered yet, we're sitting there with chips and salsa, and literally we're not speaking to each other. We are grown men, we are pastors, we're professional Christians. We can't have a conversation. We are both so angry and so locked down, and we both knew how ridiculous it was, again, because of how much time we spent with other people, and other couples, and other people with difficult family relationships. And then finally, my dad said, and this is almost a direct quote because I'll just never forget this moment. He finally looked at me and he said, "Andy, we both know", Because we're both pastors, "We both know what happens to fathers and sons who go through something like this. And I don't want that to happen to us". And I said "Me neither". The problem was it was happening to us.

Now, we had an advantage or two. One advantage was we both wanted the same thing, and we did not want that to happen to us. And both of us were willing to work at it, but I'm telling you, even though both of us were willing to work at it, it was so, so, so hard. Now, it's so hard because this is not, what makes this so hard is primarily, it's just such an emotional thing, it's a very emotional topic. For men, since I can speak to men since I are one, believe it or not. I was a man before I was a pastor, hard to believe, but yeah. For us, there are certain emotions that are so terrifying to us, that we will do anything to keep them from surfacing. The right word is terrifying. I learned that from our counselor. He said, "You're both terrified". I'm like, "I'm not afraid of anything". He's like, "You're terrified". Because there's something in you and if it comes up, you're not sure how you're gonna respond, or how you're gonna look, or how it's gonna feel. This is why for some of you, your fathers are so shut down. It's like, they're just afraid to go there, end they don't even know where there is, but they're afraid to go there. And it's why we just make excuses.

Now, before we move forward, we get practical, I wanna set expectations. And what I'm about to say is gonna sound like it's contradicting what I've already said, so I need you to hang with me. And if it feels contradictory to you, that's my fault, I've not explained it well. But this is so important and if I explain this well, this is gonna take some pressure off, and make the future a little bit clearer. As it relates, as it relates to reassembling, or repairing, or restoring adult relationships. Not so much with kids, this applies to kids, but when it comes to reestablishing or repairing adult relationships, the goal isn't reconciliation, this is the part that's confusing. The goal isn't reconciliation, because unlike a broken toy, or a broken dish, or a broken iPhone screen, when you think about a broken object, you have control over all the pieces, and you have 100% control over the entire process. But when it comes to repairing relationships with other people, we don't have access to all the pieces.

So we work, and we pray toward reconciliation, but reconciliation can't be the goal, and here's why. Here's just a little relational tip, may be worth the price of admission. Never, ever set a goal for another adult. Never set a goal, you can set goals for you, but you don't set goals for other adults, even adult family members, because a goal is an agenda. I have a goal for you, I want you to do something, or say something, or accomplish something, so I have an agenda. So every time I'm with you, you know what I'm bringing to the relationship? I'm bringing my agenda for you. And agendas always, always, always undermine or put a box around relationships. This is why your relationship with your boss is as friendly as everybody wants to get, there is an agenda. He or she hired you to do a job, and you are friendly and they are friendly, but you're probably not gonna be lifelong friends. You're gonna get along, you're gonna be polite, but if there's an agenda in the room with you and another person, it really is like having a third party in the room. And agendas ensure, they ensure that broken relationships stay broken. And this may explain why some of your efforts in the past to restore or repair a relationship have failed.

Just to make it personal. Do you enjoy people who have an agenda for you? No. Because soon as they sit down, your guard is up, you know where this is going. Again, it's like a third party, it's like a third person sitting at the table. Parents, this may explain your kids push back, your adult kids push back. It may explain why they check their watch when they're visiting with you. Do you enjoy people who you feel like are always evaluating and judging you? No. So as we move through this series, and we move through this content, it's very important for you to understand what the goal is, what the win is, and the goal, here's the goal, here's what we're shooting for. This take a little pressure off, but it's also gonna put some pressure on. The goal in reconciling, the goal in reassembling, the goal is simply no regrets. It's knowing that you did everything you could do, it's knowing that we did everything we could do, that we opened the door, that we put out the welcome mat, that we put down the drawbridge, that we put down the weapons, that we removed any unnecessary obstacles to reconnecting with that person.

That essentially we're gonna learn how to take the pressure off, to create space for them to move toward. Which means, and this is kinda the bad, the negative side of that. Which means no matter whose fault it was or whose fault it is, no matter how much of the blame really sits on them versus sits with you, you and I, we always have a part in the process of reconciliation. Which leads me to this question. Why in the world are we talking about this in church? And the answer is, obviously, I have run out of topics. I figured you need to laugh about now in this message. Okay, now the reason we're talking about this, and this is so cool.

And by the way, if you're not a Christian or a religious person, this is gonna be super practical, there's gonna be takeaways for everybody. But if you're not a religious person or a Christian in particular, this is why as Jesus followers, this isn't really optional for us. It's optional, if you're not, you just pick and choose, do what you want, I don't have any authority, I can't tell you what to do. Nobody left me in charge of you, made me the boss of you. But if you're a Jesus foll, not just a believer or a Christian, but somebody who wakes up every day and decides, you know what, to the best of my ability I wanna follow Jesus. We don't really have any choice in the matter. Because reconciliation, this is so powerful, reconciliation is actually the operative noun in the Christian faith. And by reconciliation, I simply mean restoring a relationship, restoring a relationship. The story of our salvation, the story of redemption, is a story of reconciliation. That God reconciled members of this rebel race unto himself.

And here's the kicker, here's the trick, and here's the, oh, I didn't think about that. Your Heavenly Father was not content to simply forgive you. Forgiveness, and this is where we get tripped up. Forgiveness is only half the equation. I can forgive you and never make any attempt to reconcile with you. But reconciliation is the win, reconciliation is the win in our relationship with God, and reconciliation is the win in our relationship with each other. And according to Jesus, the two are related.

Now, here's part of the problem, the way we were raised. If you were raised in church, and if you weren't raised in church, this is one good reason not to be raised in church. And most of the church systems that we grew up with, what the church did, and I understand this, the church separated forgiveness from reconciliation. And the reason that the church separated, conveniently disconnected reconciliation from forgiveness is because forgiveness is easier, and when it comes to forgiveness, I hold all the cards. I get to make the decision. I'm going to forgive her. I'm going to forgive him. God forgave me, so I'm gonna accept my forgiveness from God, and I'm gonna forgive other people. I hold all the cards, I control the outcome, I control the entire process. But reconciling with people is extraordinarily, extraordinarily emotional sometimes, and it's so extraordinarily inconvenient. And not only is it inconvenient, and we're gonna talk about this a little bit, sometimes it's unsafe, and sometimes it's unwise, but those are the exceptions. For the most part, it's just uncomfortable.

So unfortunately Christianity has been reduced or was reduced to forgiveness. God forgives me, I forgive you, I'm good to go. But the problem with this version of Christianity, it keeps us looking up, it doesn't force us to look around. And when you read the gospels, one thing is abundantly clear, and this is good news, this is the good news. Your Heavenly Father was not content to simply forgive you. That God's forgiveness is so powerful, God's forgiveness was a means to an end. That God forgave to remove an obstacle to relationship. God forgave to remove an obstacle to reconciliation, the obstacle of sin, but the end, the win is reconciliation. A reassembled relationship with your Heavenly Father. And then as we talk about all the time, at the end of his ministry he gathered with his apostles for that last Passover. And he said, "Okay, here's your marching orders. You are to do for others as I've done for you. You are to love others as I have loved you. And I was not content to forgive you, I went the extra mile to reconcile a relationship with you".

I wanna close with just one verse today. And this is something the apostle Paul wrote, and the apostle Paul, goodness gracious, did he ever understand this. The apostle Paul, as you know, steps under the pages of history as someone who hates Christians, who hates the church. He had Christians arrested, tortured, apparently he had Christians executed. He stood by and watched Stephen, the first Christian martyr be stoned, and he approved it, and then he went on the war path. So imagine what was in his conscience, imagine the guilt and imagine the shame he carried when he became a Jesus follower, and he realized I did all of that, and it was all wrong, it was all a sin, it was horrible. And yet God chose the apostle Paul and reconciled the apostle Paul to himself. Paul understood forgiveness is just half the equation, my Heavenly Father, in spite of all my sin, did not stop with forgiving me, he chose me, because he was able to have a relationship with me, because he removed the obstacles between himself and me.

And then he wrote this to all of us. "In your relationships with one another". Which relationships? All of them. "In your relationships with one another". Which relationships? All of them, the easy ones, the hard ones, the ones that are busted, the ones that are hitting on all cylinders. "In all your relationships with one another". What's he gonna say? What do you want me to do? What could possibly encapsulate, or what could possibly be so big and so broad as to be able to say it about every single relationship? "In your relationships with one another". This is so powerful. "Have the same mindset". Or in other words, think the same way as Christ Jesus, your Lord. "In all of your relationships". This is amazing, it's all encompassing, it's so powerful. In all of your relationships I want you to approach them the way your Heavenly Father demonstrated his approach through how Jesus approached relationships. And what was Jesus' mindset when it came to relationships?

Remember the story, if you grew up in church you heard this. In fact, even if you didn't grow up in church, you've probably heard this, the parable of the hundred sheep. The lost sheep, we call it. He says you have a Shepherd's got a hundred sheep, and there's one sheep wanders off. And the good shepherd leaves the 99 and goes after the one. The way we do it is one sheep wanders off and we think to ourself, rogue sheep, if that sheep would like to rejoin the rest of the group of sheep, we're easy to find. There's 99 of us, so we're just gonna go on about our business. And when they get their act together, hey, we will welcome them back into the fold, but I'm not gonna go looking for it. How did Jesus approach relationships with people who were offensive and who positioned themselves as enemies? This drove religious leaders crazy.

The religious leaders couldn't understand Jesus, and they would say, "Jesus, why do you move in their direction? You should just preach, and then when they repent of their sin, then they will move in your direction. I mean, Jesus, if you're gonna establish yourself as this sort of rabbi, religious figure, you need to understand the basics, the basic is this. We are the good people, we do all the right thing, we make all the right decisions. And when somebody gets outside the circle of fellowship, or outside the fold, then we distance ourselves from them because we don't wanna get any sin cooties on us. But when they get their act together and move back in our direction, hey, we'd be good to go, send them to the temple, get them ceremonially clean, and off we go. And Jesus, you keep leaving the 99, you keep leaving the fold and moving toward sinners. Why do you do that"? And he could've said, "Because I have come to do the will of my Father in Heaven. And this is my Heavenly Father's approach to people who are sinful, and offensive, and are outside the circle of fellowship".

But here's what he actually said. He said to the Pharisees on one occasion, "Jesus answered them and said, It's not the healthy who need a doctor. 'It's not the healthy who need a doctor, I'm a doctor. It's not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.'"

Now, pause just a second. I know this is kind of extreme, a little crass, but the people that have offended you and distanced themselves from you, or you've distanced yourselves from them, or the relationship's broken. Don't you think they're kinda sick? I mean, aren't they the ones that have something wrong with them? I mean, you're 10% to blame, but they're 90%. You're 25%, but they're 75%, I mean, it was mostly their fault. Jesus said, "I didn't come for the people who got it all together. I came for the people who have broken their relationship with their Father in Heaven. I have not come to call the righteous. I have not come to call on the righteous. I have not come to move toward the righteous, but I have come to call sinners to repentance, and I can't do that from a distance". We're almost done. Jesus says "I can forgive from a distance, but I can't reconcile from a distance".

Reconciliation, reassembling requires proximity. It requires us moving toward the unreconciled. And if we choose to follow Jesus, this is what we will do. We will move, and we will remove every single obstacle possible. Because the goal isn't reconciliation, that's beyond our control. The goal is no regrets. The goal is to remove every single obstacle we can remove which paves the way toward what hopefully ends with reconciliation. Now, next time, I'm gonna give you the first decision we all have to make when it comes to reconciling a relationship. Between now and then, I want you to wrestle with this question, and here's the question. What is stopping me, as you think about an adult's, it could be a little thing, a big thing, a long term thing, a short term thing, that guy at work, the neighbor, whatever it might be. And it's just irritating, in fact, it's just not a really, really big deal, and it would be easy just to let it go because they're not central in your lives anyway.

But the question I want you to ask is what's stopping me from trying? You're gonna hate me for this. And whatever comes to mind immediately, I want you to set it aside temporarily. And I want you to re-ask the question this way. What's keeping me from trying, really? What's keeping you from trying, really? If you're not a Jesus follower, optional. But if in our relationships, we're going to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, our Lord, it's a requirement. Because this is how you follow Jesus. So next time, we'll pick it up right there in part two of how to get people, no, not that one. The next time we'll pick it up in part two of Reassembly Required, A Beginner's Guide to Repairing Broken Relationships. Before you go, three questions. You talk about over lunch, over dinner, with your small group this week.

Number one, first question is this. Which of these four relational tools do you reach for first when conflict arises? You just try to convince 'em, that would be me. I'm just gonna argue, I'm gonna talk to you, I'm gonna give you some information. I'm gonna give you so much information you're gonna be like, I surrender to your information, Andy, I see the world the way you do, never works. Convince, convert, coerce, convict, control. Which one of these do you go for first?

Number two, do you have friends or family members who are estranged from members of their families? And from where you sit, you just wonder what's keeping the feud alive. Do you have friends or family members who are estranged from members of their families? From where you sit, how did, when you look at that, does it just look simple to fix and you wonder why is it so complicated?

Number three, if you are estranged from a friend or family member, again, what's stopping you from taking steps to repair that relationship? You don't have full control, but what's keeping you from taking steps?

Now I know, a lot of unanswered questions. I don't know your story. That's why I wanna make sure you come to all these or watch all four of these, all four parts of this series. This is emotional, but this is important. And as I said, this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. And as you can imagine, this would make the world a better and safer place for everybody. I'd love to pray for us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for not forgiving from a distance, for sending a savior into this world to reveal what you are like, who you like, who you love. And Father, for those of us to the best of our ability who wake up every day and say, I wanna follow, I wanna get it right. Would you please give us eyes to see the people around us the way that you see them, and give us ears to hear that still small voice that shows us and teaches us how to remove unnecessary obstacles. And Father, I pray for the man or woman, or the student today who thinks I wish I had not heard this. This is too emotional, this is too hard, I'm not gonna do it. I pray, Father, that between now and next time that you would do that thing that no preacher, no sermon can do, that you would just draw them out into the open and again, give them eyes to see the way you see them, the way you see the other person. And I pray that as a result of our time together in this series, that many of us would walk away free. Free to love, free to forgive, and perhaps stories of reconciliation that we could never, ever imagine possible. And we pray all of that in Jesus' name. Amen.

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