Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 3:18, Matthew 7:7–7:12, Philippians 2:1–2:4, Matthew 5:46–5:48, Matthew 5:23–5:24
Mutual Respect 2.25.18
A five-week series diving deep into our five defining values as a church--the distinguishing characteristics that shape Hopevale.
Hopevale DNA: Our 5 Defining Values
“Hopevale DNA” explains what’s most important to us as a church in how we approach life and ministry. These 5 defining values shape things like how we conduct ourselves, how we treat others, how we function as a church family, how we live out our faith beyond the four walls of our church.
1. Focused Faith
2. Authentic Love
3. Mutual Respect
4. Shared Ministry
5. Servant Leadership
These are the qualities that make us us.
Review: (1) Focused Faith
FOCUSED FAITH means keeping the main thing the main thing. We can’t let secondary issues distract us from what matters most.
Review: Focused Faith in the Church
In essentials, unity;
In nonessentials, liberty;
In all things, charity.
We need to be united in the essentials and keep the main thing the main thing. Beyond that, we’ve got to give each other the freedom in the non-essentials to have beliefs and convictions that might be different than ours. Then in all things, when we can love each other through those differences, that’s when Jesus shines the brightest.
Review: (2) Authentic Love
AUTHENTIC LOVE means we practice what we preach and put feet to our faith. We don’t just talk the talk, but we also walk the walk.
1 John 3:18 NIV
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
The Golden Rule
People have joked that “The Golden Rule” is that "He who has the gold makes the rules." Unfortunately, there’s probably more truth to that than we’d care to admit, where people of wealth and people in power seem to operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us and the results can be devastating. The #metoo movement in response to weekly stories of sexual assault and harassment involving high-profile people makes this all too real. Thankfully there’s another Golden Rule we’re called to live by; it’s the original Golden Rule that comes to us from the very words of Jesus.
Matthew 7:7-12 NIV
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
THIS WEEK: (3) Mutual Respect
MUTUAL RESPECT means living out the Golden Rule by treating others the way we want them to treat us.
Philippians 2:1-4 NIV
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Mutual Respect made practical
1. Apologize well.
There are three components to a good apology:
1) SAY IT specifically
2) OWN IT completely
3) MEAN IT sincerely
In the spirit of Philippians 2, it takes genuine humility to apologize well. It's not easy to kill the ugly monster of stubborn pride within all of us that’ll fight against us with all its might. Yet Jesus' forgiveness frees us to own up to our selfish and hurtful actions. As we’re humble before God about our own sins and shortcomings, it’ll free us up to be honest with others as well.
Mutual Respect made practical
2. Include. Don't exclude.
Living out the Golden Rule isn’t just limited to the people we like.
Jesus challenged the religious mindset of His day that thought, “What’s the least I can do and still get a passing grade?” They were fine with loving the lovely and those who would love them back. Jesus told them they had it all wrong--that they shouldn't settle for the minimum, but rather they should shoot for the maximum. We're called to imitate the unconditional, sacrificial, agape love of our Heavenly Father. John 3:16 doesn't say: “God so loved His favorite people”; no, it’s says "God so loved the world." That means everyone. Just like Him, we're called to be inclusive, not exclusive when it comes to the Golden Rule.
This also speaks to the challenge of race in our country and community, because “The Golden Rule” cuts across all racial lines. James chapter 2 calls out the sin of favoritism and treating people differently based upon their outward appearance and societal standing.
Matthew 5:46-48 NIV
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Mutual Respect made practical
3. Initiate. Don't hesitate.
Living out the Golden Rule means we don’t wait for someone else to make the first move.
For so long, civilization has operated by the laws of revenge and the laws of reciprocity (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth). In other words: Treat others the way they have treat you. But that’s not the Golden Rule. No, we can’t settle for the minimum; we need to shoot for the maximum, which means we need to lead the way and extend respect to others first... even if they’re never going to return the favor back to us.
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
We need to be reminded that other people should be respected for who they are, not used for what we want from them. Pastor Dan
1. Read Matthew 7:1-12. The flip-side of the Golden Rule is, Treat others the way they have treated you. What name would you give that rule? What other spoken/unspoken relationship rules do people live by these days?
2. How can we make Jesus’ relationship rule real in our lives? What questions should we ask ourselves? A few examples:
* “How would I want to be talked to—and about—in this situation?”
* “How would I want our group to care for me if I were going through a hard time like this?”
* “How would I want more-well-off believers to help me if I couldn’t pay for food or medical care?”
How would you respond to these questions? What question would you add?
3. Drill down in James 2:1-9:
* What example of favoritism does James describe here?
* Have you ever judged someone based on how they dress? What else do we use to decide someone’s “value” and how we will treat them?
* According to these verses, why should we never favor one person over another?
* Have you ever been on the receiving end of this kind of favoritism? Share the situation and how you felt and responded.
4. What were the three action steps Dan gave us for showing others mutual respect? Which one especially spoke to you? How do you need to respond to the Lord in this area?
5. How can you initiate welcome, friendship, help, love, truth with someone in your life this week? Be ready to share what happens at next week’s group meeting.