Creflo Dollar - How To Restore Broken Relationships - Part 4
You got to move from the deadlock to the dialogue. You've got to move from the silent treatment to communication, okay? So, this could always... of course, somebody says, "Well, now we're talking again". And when you're doing that it does have the potential for more conflict, but good people with good motives who know Christ need to talk. Good people with good motives who know Christ need to talk. "Well, I don't wanna hear this. I wanna talk about the third degree of prayer". No, you need to learn how to get along. The issue with the church right now is we getting so deep and we're ignoring the obvious. What's the obviously? We don't like each other no more. I'm trying to show you how to get along when you come to church. I mean, the church should be buzzing with the glory of God. It should be a place where when people walk in they feel the unity and the love, and it's not like that.
We've exchanged the unity and the love for image building, and we've got to learn how to be a good, authentic Christian that just make our mind up that, "You know, you're not treating me right, you ignore me. You're doing all kinds of things, but I will follow this love commandment and I will agape you no matter how you treat me," because God knows that my agape towards you is gonna keep this relationship going. And I can't tell you the number of Christians. This is what I'm seeing everywhere. People are showing up like it's a show and don't even like each other and be talking about... you should at least wait till after the benediction for you to start talking about somebody, but you be right there in church whispering to somebody, "She think she cute that"...
All right, now, look. So, the key is we've got to start talking. You gotta learn how to talk, how? This is huge. So, when I decide to break that whole silent-treatment deal, when I decide to, you know, get outta deadlock and to a dialogue, first things first. Head first for common ground. The first thing you talk about, not the fighting ground, the common ground. We gonna start talking, we gonna talk about common-ground stuff, not the fighting-ground stuff. We're not gonna start off right away, we start talking, and the first thing you say is, "You know you was wrong". That's not how you start it off. Start with common ground. "Here's what I know. We've been friends for a long time, and I'm not willing to let anything destroy that". "Yeah, me, too". "And you know I love you". "Me, too". Start with common ground, not fighting ground.
So, sometimes to maintain the relationship... this is so true. It's true in marriage, it's true in any relationship. To maintain a relationship, you got to just learn how to disagree agreeably. Some things in a relationship, "You know, I'm a Republican. Here's my view". "I'm a Democrat, here's my view," and the views conflict. You just gotta learn how to disagree agreeably and keep going on and being friends, because that should not be the reason why that friendship stop, the relationship. People must agree to disagree about their particular areas of disagreements and learn to work around things you cannot change. Learn how to work around things you cannot change. You already know this is a sore spot in a relationship. You've agreed to disagree. Work around those things and do what... I mean, what is it saying about you? You really expect for everybody to agree with you?
Seriously, there's that narcissism again. I guarantee you look up the characteristics of a, I've went over four of 'em right now. Why would you even think that everybody should disagree with you or to agree with you? And you're gonna have things like that in relationship. You're gonna have things like that in marriage. There are certain things that, you know, in our marriage we've had to put on the shelf, and it's okay to put 'em on the shelf. And they may stay on the shelf for a little bit, but I've recognized some of the things she put on the shelf I was able to take 'em down. Like, "I see, you were right". And I take some of that, "Yeah, that was, yeah, I see that now". And what you recognize is the changes that have taken place in you individually and how God has begun to work on the inside of you.
You know, lemme just step into the side for a moment. I was praying this past week, and I was asking the Lord, I said, "You know, in our church services, Lord, I thank you for signs and wonders and miracles". And had been saying that for some while, and then I kinda paused and I said, "Well, Lord, you know, tell me. What do we need to do for, you know, for the signs and miracles and see some of the things we used to see"? And I didn't hear anything, and then when I got completely quiet and went on to something else God says, "You keep trying to find the steps that will produce signs, wonders, and miracles. And do you not yet understand that all of that comes through the relationship"? He said, "It is the essence of your relationship with me that will cause these things to follow you. You don't have to fulfill some quota to get it. Just continue to know me". Isn't that good?
You know, when something like that is spoken to you, you know you're not smart enough to get that, and that really, really, really blessed me. And so, let's look at a couple Scriptures here. Philippians chapter 4, verses 2 and 3 in the NLT talks about two women here, and I just want you to see how Paul was pretty intense about them resolving their issue. He said, "And now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche". Says, "Please, because you belong to the Lord, would you please settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partners, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers". Look at Paul's situation. He says, "You guys have done too much to allow this disagreement to remain, so, as friends, could you please settle your disagreement"?
And I'm asking you as members of World Changers, I'm asking you as a part of the World Changers Nation, I'm asking members and partners everywhere and you know people that are part of us, settle your disagreement, settle the disagreement. Don't let the disagreement go on. Do you understand the devil loves riding the wave of unsettled disagreements? Settle that disagreement and go do. Now look at this, Ephesians 4:15 and 25 in the NLT. Ephesians 4, verse 15, and then verse 25 in the NLT. I mean, Paul is very serious about not allowing these deadlocks to remain, breaking deadlocks, and in verse 15 he said, "Instead, here's what we're gonna do. Instead of the silent treatment, we will speak the truth in love". I mean, who do you think you are not to speak the truth in love when you know it needs to be spoken?
You know, the first part of this series I talked about how important it was in friendships for somebody to speak the truth. You can speak the truth arrogantly. You can speak the truth in a mean way. You can speak the truth in a hurtful way, but the truth spoken in love is gonna bring about great deliverance. What did he say? He says, "We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ". Growing in every way more and more like Christ. Some people are not interested in good character. Some people are not interested in changing here. We want everything else to change but here. And all of us have got to be committed to this transformation to line up with God's Word where godly friendships are concerned. "Growing in every way more and more and do it like Christ, who is the head of his body, who is the head of church". And then, look at verse 25, what it says here. He says, "So stop telling lies".
You know, this is the same context where he says if you see something speak the truth in love. "So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body". That's strong, that's powerful. You're seeing all of these Scriptures where he's talking about relationships. He's talking about how we ought to behave in the house of God and as part of one another, so the process of breaking the silent treatment involves talking and dialogue. It involves talking and dialogue. So, you know, I understand that you might need to take some time together, kinda get yourself together, but for two years? That's too long, don't do that. Soon as you can resolve it, the sooner you can be a blessing. Relationships are a blessing. I like what Bishop Fuller says: "Everything travels at the speed of relationships". And we have got to learn how to do that as Christian people. We got to learn how to do that, and the world begins to look at you.
When people go through the traumatic things that they've gone through, through 2020 and these last few months, people are ready to hear inspiring, good stuff that's gonna make their lives better. And guess who God's gonna use? He's gonna use you. That's where this revival is gonna come from. It's not gonna come from the pulpit. It's gonna come from all of you who know Jesus and all of you who know about relationships and understand what I'm saying, and then you begin to apply these things. Man, people are gonna get born again. They're gonna be getting saved, y'all gonna be out at lunch leading people to Christ. All kinds of stuff is gonna happen because of the simplicity of the gospel, and we're not using Christianese and don't nobody know what you talking about, and jerking and jiggling in front of unbelievers who don't know what's going on. Don't sit down there at the table and, like, you know, "Ah, how you doing"? You gonna scare somebody. They're not gonna eat with you no more, stop it. You gonna say, "Let us pray over our food," at lunch. "...ah, ah, it's a demon". You gotta stop that. The only reason you're laughing is 'cause you know exactly what I'm talking about. There's an experience in your mind that you understand.
All right, number six, number six. We got a few minutes to go. All right, if you want to deal with conflict in relationship you've got to learn how to manage your emotions. You gotta learn how to manage your emotions. Look at Ephesians chapter 4, verse 31 and 32 in the NLT. You've got to learn how to manage your emotions. Now listen to me carefully. You manage your emotions. And, I mean, when you hear this it sounds good, but, see, this is the difference between going deeper in God's Word versus just getting it from a therapeutic perspective. How do I manage my emotions? By managing the way I think. If you learn how to manage your thinking, you will learn how to manage your emotions.
Now, why do I say that? Well, lemme take you back to, you know, the steps of anatomy. I call it life anatomy, and it is understanding how things work and why things work that way. Everything starts with the influence. Everything starts with what goes through your eyes and your ears and coming out of your mouth. Everything starts with what you are around. Everything starts with where you spend your time the most, okay? All right, so, where you spend your time the most will impact you, it will influence you. So, those influences will come in and whatever you're watching, whatever you're listening to the most, whatever is part of your life, whatever is feeding you, your life, will determine the way you think, so those influences will determine the way you think.
All right, now, you ask yourself, "Why am I thinking about what I'm thinking about"? It's because of what you've been around, your influences, and Christian people still don't believe that. You think that you can continue to be the Christian that the Bible tells you about and not hang around those things that will make you that way, and that's not how that works. Are you understanding? That's not how it works. So, what you hanging around determines how you think, all right? How you think, watch this, determines how you feel. So, if you feel depressed, you go back and you ask yourself, "What am I thinking about? Because how I'm thinking is determining how I'm feeling".
Notice, I am managing those feelings of depression by knowing immediately to go and look at how I've been managing what I've been thinking by going back and look at what have I been around. Maybe it's too much news coming in every day. Maybe it's that phone call that always seems to bring you down. If you manage the way you think, you can manage the way you feel. And notice if you're gonna be successful in managing your feelings and managing the way you think, you've got to manage those influences that are around you. You cannot allow everybody's drama to become yours, you cannot. Remember what I said. Your peace is your most valuable asset. Don't spend your peace on other people's drama. You should not be getting in debt to other people's drama and then using your peace to try to pay it off. Don't do that, you should not do that. And so, it's a matter of what do you hang around?
You know, the Bible tells us to be careful about who we choose to hang around because they might corrupt good manners, and for some of us. Listen to me now. Don't stop the stream, stay there. Listen to me now. For some of us, we'd get a big change in our thinking if we get some new friends. Some of y'all got some toxic relationships. You're still in a relationship that deals with taking advantage of you more than giving you the advantage. And when you're around people that all they do is wanna take the advantage but they never, never, never give the advantage, that is a toxic relationship, and that's gonna begin to influence your thinking, which is gonna begin to influence how you feel.
Now, I don't care how fine the woman is. If she's toxic, you gonna kill yourself at the end of this thing, stop. I don't care how fine the guy you think is. If it's toxic, I mean, what are you doing? What are you doing? You understand? Don't do that. Don't allow yourself to continue in a toxic relationship. Don't allow yourself to continue to be devalued. Don't allow yourself to continue to be treated just terrible. You know, somebody says, "Well, what about agape love"? Some people, you gotta learn how to love at a distance. You gotta do some social-distancing loving. Some of these people need some social-distancing loving. Not the new social distancing. They need the full 6 feet or 60 miles, you know, when it's toxic. You'll never sell your forgiveness, but you gotta be smart enough to adjust those influences that are causing you to mismanage the way you think. You gotta be smart enough to know that when you mismanage the way you think you're gonna mismanage your emotions.
And guess what happens when you don't manage emotions right? You will now mismanage your decisions. Influences produce the way you think. The way you think produces the way you feel. The way you feel produces the decisions you make. Then those decisions will produce the actions you take. Those actions will create habits. So, you'll create the habit, and then the habit creates you. Those habits will create the character you have, and you cannot go above the character you possess. And that character will bring you to your destiny in life. And you are where you are because you couldn't manage the influences, wouldn't manage the way you thought, and did not manage your emotions, and your emotions will take you to the places where you'll end up in life ultimately.
And I say this to people. I've been saying it for a while, and they're just, "Oh, well. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Praise the Lord, he gets paid seven figures, so whatever". You know, people don't even get married for love anymore. They get married for "what you can do for me". "I ain't got to love you, just as long as you make that deposit every month". That's how crazy the world is right now, and God's depending on us to give a better illustration and example of how this thing should be. There are consequences for making decisions to live that way. You don't just decide to live that way without any consequences, and yet we're expecting... oh, this is good, Lord, thank you for that. We love the results of investments, but sometimes people won't make the investments. Yeah, I want the results of it, but you gotta make some investments. You gotta make the right investments, and you make investments in life and in people and in relationships, amen?
Let's look at this Scripture, Ephesians 4:31. He just tells us in these two verses, he says, "Get rid of all bitterness". Get rid of the rage, get rid of the anger, get rid of the harsh words, get rid of the slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Well, that's not gonna happen if you don't become a better manager of the things that are influencing you. Not gonna happen if you don't become a better manager of your thinking. He says, "Instead, be kind to each other, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you". We can't continue to be ignorant on how to live right, how to behave right, how to act right, and how to have the right character. Well, people work so hard to try to be just like the world. They don't understand that the better of all of that is what Jesus has given us. Last one. Okay, if we want to deal with the conflict in relationships don't forget about prayer. We're talking about godly relationships. Don't forget about prayer. It helps in building relationships. Prayer helps in building relationships.
Lemme show you the Scriptures. Look at Philippians 1:9 in the Amplified, Philippians 1:9 in Amplified. We have so much that's been given to us by God and sometimes when we really need it we don't even use it. We let it slip. Prayer helps relationships. Philippians 1:9 in the Amplified says, "And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment]". Pray that, pray that. When was the last time, you know, in a marriage, when was the last time you prayed, said, "Lord, help me to love my mate better than what I'm loving 'em"? In a friendship, "Lord, help me to walk in better agape love and help me not to consider myself. Help me to do things to give them the advantage and not me". I mean, you're sitting there, you're examining yourself, and you recognize you never do anything for this person. You never. And then, you're just like, "Lord, help me to change that".
When was the last time you prayed? Prayer will help cultivate better relationships. It's a tool we can use. You don't just have to sit there and watch great friendships just crumble. You don't have to sit there and watch amazing marriages, you know, end up in divorce. We have the power of prayer, and prayer gives heaven consent to move in on that relationship. Look what it says here in Matthew chapter 5:44 in the King James, Matthew 5:44 in the King James. Prayer helps build relationships, man. And I know all of us have been in situations where there was conflict in that relationship and, honestly, you're like, "I don't really know, at this moment, what I need to do". Tell you what, it would be real cool if you went before God and said, "God, help, God, help. I don't, I don't, you know, I don't feel good about what I did, I don't feel good about what I said. I don't even know how this thing is gonna be repaired, but I need you, help". And God will come in and do some real supernatural things, and you're like, "Well, I didn't do that. I know that's him".