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God's Wisdom for Building Great Relationships - Comparison Always Leads to Carnality

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2020 5:00 am

God's Wisdom for Building Great Relationships - Comparison Always Leads to Carnality

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 13, 2020 5:00 am

In this program, Chip gives us three key habits that’ll revolutionize the way you relate to God, to others, and to yourself. If you’re ready for a fresh start in doing relationships God’s way, you’ll find this message incredibly helpful.

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There is something that we all do and we do it so often and so unconsciously that we think is normal. And yet it by definition destroy a relationship you do not want to miss stay with welcome to this Thursday edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram, Living on the Edge features the Bible to check on this daily discipleship program budget joy just as a series of building relationships say that introduction sounded like a pretty straightforward and state. So if you don't get to hear all of today's message catch up anytime that you also find his interactive message notes are special offers much more bullets get going showing there's trip with principal number six for building great relationships comparison always leads to carnality. Someone asked me recently if I would just cut a step back and say you been a Christian little over three decades now, just in terms of simplified principles of you are just gonna sit down with someone over a couple coffee and say one of the biggest life lessons you've learned about doing relationships God's way doing relationships in a way so that how you relate to one another around the word of God in the spirit of God would actually allow both of you to become more like Christ. And so I sat down and put my feet up and got a cup coffee and praying the Lord, you know what what is it and so you know a number of different was like I started with. It all begins with God was that was my first principle I realizes that everyone in the world wants to tell you how you relationships and I realize God has laid out in his word. This is how you do relationships and I begin to think of other things and you can't impart what you don't possess. You know I can't give to another person a relationship. What I'm not getting from God. I've learned over the years that everyone behaves in a way that makes sense to them. That is transform my life that helps you step back so you don't get enough engage in something where you respond emotionally and then another principle for me as everyone is desperately insecure and some people show their insecurity with strong reactions and powerful and you know they tell you what they've done what they've accomplished and how much money they make, and who they know and what they drive and you know all on and on and on and on and they they do that because they seem really big and you seem really small and that creates distance and that distance makes them feel safe and other people are insecure with weak reactions. What they do is they look at their feet, and I'm a nobody, and I can never do anything and you know my mom was a nobody mama that was a nobody and you know I haven't done this and I haven't done this and you know they withdraw from relationships and it creates distance, but it's rooted in the same thing and once you realize everyone's desperately insecure. We to show in different ways will principal number six for me is the comparison always leads to carnality comparison always leads to carnality. What I tried to do with his little principles. I just thought God help me be real simple. A principal a passage and then some practice.

What's the principal comparison always leads to carnality, who's the fastest who's the smartest who's the prettiest who's the sexiest, who's the best looking whose kids are the brightest, did you go to this school or that school who has the nicest clothes.

What kind of car do you drive where you live, what is your ZIP Code people magazine. Who's the most famous Forbes magazine, who's the richest when you pull up at a stop light unconsciously. If there's two or three lanes you will tend to look to your right and you will tend to look to your left and you will unconsciously go through a series of things you will look at what kind of car they're driving you will make observations about how the gal is wearing her hair not wearing her hair how much jewelry she has what it looks like if it's a BMW and has number seven something with the I in the back. You make certain observations and conclusions. If the VW van with the peace sign and the guy has multiple tattoos and Rastafarian hair you make certain conclusions and you unconsciously begin to ask where do I fit in. You gravitate like I gravitate in your humus to either feel superior or inferior or judging.

You know what I tell you what all those rich people and what what a waste of money to have that much jewelry and the poor could been fed and you know what you know what I think Audie would be okay but a BMW that's totally out for you what white and that guy get a bath that's his whole problem. You know something that Harris thinks and there is life centered, and you know that's the problem of this world. The 60s is over. Why did that guy get a life and what I can tell you is you don't know anything about either. You don't know anything about either of them and neither do I but it's habitual. I made a list hi, I went from car to home to close the jewelry, I notice now.

Have you ever ever found out, like when you get engaged and when you get a wedding ring or an engagement ring and ladies, do you all. I mean, please don't look at me, but have you ever tried to compare the size of the diamond that someone else has with when you got engaged or when your newly married do they own their house or rent their house or what school did you graduate from versus what school someone else graduated from. Is it weird that as parents we want people to know our kids SAT scores like that really changes the world. We compare our kids, our schools are education our IQs and all I want to tell you is every time you compare yourself with other people. Whether it's your insides or your outsides or your possessions or your position.

It always leads to carnality and by carnality I mean sin. The passage I like to give you a second Corinthians verse 10 verse 12 and I like to go and open your Bible, look at that and the apostle Paul is in a situation where he's being compared these being compared with that the so-called super apostles and in the Corinthian church is saying something away.

You act like a real big shot when we get these letters that you know we we are not really that impressed with you and Paul really hates to do it but defends his apostleship and talks about some amazing experiences in different things. He's had, but in verse 12, he gets to the core of the issue about relationships. It says for we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves, but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves there without understanding is that graphic.

We are not bold to compare ourselves with some of those pulses I'm not comparing myself with other people. Why when they measure themselves and compare themselves with themselves there without understanding in your notes if you want to, you might jot down the first Corinthians 1510 with the apostle Paul does just the opposite, and I member the first time I read this and I may not by never open the Bible till I was 18, so I'm like probably 18 1/2 now I'm a Christian. About six months and bring to the New Testament the first time when I first read this verse I thought this guys like really arrogant. I can't believe he said this, I am what I am by the grace of God and his grace did not prove vain toward me, but I labored more than all of them speaking the other apostles, yet not I, but the grace of God and and you know when you really study that he's not arrogant at all.

He has an accurate assessment of upset. I am what I am by the grace of God the brains I have grace of God. The looks I have the grace of God position. I have the grace of God for the money I had the grace of God. The talent I have the grace of God the parent, I had the grace with I am what I am God made me and God placed me in this family at this time. With these gifts. With these strengths. With these liabilities. With these experiences both wonderful and difficult by his grace. And it's interesting what you do in his grace didn't prove vain toward me. I didn't compare myself with other people I saw who God made me and where I am and what I've been through and then I labored I labored, I worked. I took what God gave me and who he made me and this is this is a time where he does have little little comparison goes more than all of them yet not I, even my labor. Even my energy. Even my passions, even my desires not I but the grace of God and so all I'm saying is in relationships and this is a habit that is so hard to break is if you can begin to say to yourself, I'm going to break the habit of comparing myself with other people. I am telling you, it'll liberate you when you can go to the checkout stand ladies and see the front of Cosmopolitan and's and all the magazines and how quote you're supposed to look and realize the genetic pool of which is drawn is like the upper one or 2% of all the women made in all the world and they have, you know, airbrush surgeries and money like you don't have and there you don't can you imagine having the only job you have is look pretty. I member them interviewing one lady who's noted, I will mention names is who's noted not only for her beauty, but for her wonderfully articulate bodily shape content I said in the right way and she said she talked about five and six hours a day.

The regiment she went through to keep different parts of her body looking the way they needed to look so she could get in front of the camera and make millions of dollars not know about you, but how many of you have five or six hours a day to do you know buns of steel or whatever you know and yet that picture flashes and you've been told ever since you were little girl or guys when you look at men's fitness and you see that guy with you is rippled absent have six packs I got 12 packs. But you know what if you got five hours of note should you be in shape to cure your body all the rest.

Of course, but municipal a 12 pack at full-time job you be in the gym for hours and hours and hours, but these images of these pictures and we compare ourselves both up or down, and the moment we do it always leads to carnality.

The principal comparison always leads to carnality. The passage set Corinthians 1012 the practice.

Let me give you three things that I think will really help you break the habit number one habitually choose to view others the way God does and jot down first Samuel 16 seven habitually choose. It's a choice you won't naturally do this habitually choose to view others the way God does first Samuel 16 seven God's looking for a king.

He says to the prophet go over to Jesse's house. He's got a lot of boys. One of those boys is a king and I'll show you all the boys lineup, the prophet looks at him all the ghosting I read a problem here and you know one of them especially strong and mature and good-looking and big and in the fathers, going it's him right prophet says no coming to have any other sons and basically all you know there's good there is no the little guy you know I mean these easy onion and so David comes and remember what the prophet says for God sees not as man sees for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord weighs the heart and not about you, but God has been so gracious to read. Prove me so painfully that I am habitually in the practice of choosing to look at people the way God does. I'll never forget my my greatest reproof I was preaching in California and there was a guy who came set on the front row had long Rastafarian locks had what appeared to be a dress on her robe with a multicolored coat and a funky little hat and he said you know I always set, on the front row and I was like six or eight rows away and the aroma of his life on the streets was reaching me six rate rose away and I later learned his name was Dan and we he became affectional. He called Dan Dan hippie man and I was preaching on one or workman wears a sky coming from.

I mean if I had seen him on the streets alone. It would've been like you know ball my fist here you know is a drug addict.

Winter is coming from. It is not a drug addict not you know and so I get them preaching, and I notice he's really paying attention. I think that's good. You probably come off drugs and you know that the master the harrow.

One of the cocaine is got them wired up or something and I get done when I get done. We had the steps that go good down the steps and he just came up to not discuss the pastor. It's so good to be here. I can just feel the presence of Jesus and then he goes like this, and I mean this guy gave me a bear hug and you not not one of those polite Christian little hugs where you know you we all know it's got to be quick and you know man-to-man and I mean he's hugging me like I just gave out silver dollars and he got nine of them. You know, and he gets the enemy. Looks like the six I'm so glad God brought me here and I'm thinking and I talked to the skies in the Bible every day. He had a radical conversion. I later learned that you know that he came for a few weeks and say well I'm back on God's calling and he went on the road and he he was purposely a homeless person sharing Christ and that he actually made it his way. About halfway across United States and got involved in occult and I got this long letter about all these weird people and you know I don't know much about the Bible's only Christian about six months. I write him a letter and he said this is where you can contact me and I gave him information about the coldness that II love your heart, you need to get some training he came back walk all the way back and hitchhike back to California. Went to Bible school later married another girl and their ministry with her wedding with wild and I mean he ended up he was quite a flute player ended up on our worship team and I'm telling you if I have ever met someone who was Jesus to people other people will give the time a day.

It was Dan Dan hippie.

We even were part of getting in Bible school and he got training in a something in that easy to look on the outside. A look at that hairdo look at her nails are not those near leg 65.alone if they're fake or not.

A flick of the shoes and look at that bag and what I want.

That's one of those bags were the imprint really is the Louis whatever it is, or is it just a knockoff. You know, look at that look at that look at that look at that look at people's luggage coming off of racks we make observations, how they sit, how they talk where their accent, he kinda talks like this is sort has a slurry must be from this part of the country. He looks like that he or she must not be very smart comparison always leads to carnality habitually choose to refuse to view others in any other way. God does and that you will be pleasantly surprised. Second practice is habitually choose to evaluate yourself the way God does or to look at yourself. If you open a Psalm 139 you know some of us as the apostle Paul says think too highly of ourselves. My experiences most of us think too lowly of ourselves.

You need to habitually go into practice going to training that when you look in the mirror rather than looking at yourself the way you do begin to look at who you are, the way God does. Here's how God looks at you. Psalm 139 verse 13 David sharing his heart, inspired by the Holy Spirit. He says for you formed my inward parts, and you wove me together in my mother's womb.

I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame literally my skeleton my structure was not hidden from you when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth your eyes have seen my unformed substance. Literally, the idea your eyes saw my embryo and in your book. They were written all the days ordained for me, when as yet there wasn't one of them. Here's a God who knows you. You have DNA like no one else.

He created you exactly the way he wanted to create you with the color of eyes with the personality dropped you and the family that even if it doesn't matter what. He had a good dad a bad mom if an absent God loves you so much that he knew he needed your mom and your biological dad's DNA to make the unique you and when he looks at the unique you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are valuable you are unique you are precious.

You matter. Not if you were taller.

Not if you were smarter, not if you are more outgoing. Not if you were better in this or better in that you mean what he's describing it. They had learned to talk yet. This is God's view of you before you did anything goes on to say how precious also are your thoughts, God, toward me. How vast is the son them if I should count them, they would outnumber the sand when I awake, I'm still with you. God views you a something that matters. That is precious.

He thinks of you all the time. He loves you and cares for you. Just the way he made you now. Do you have a stewardship with your body to make it the best that can be and be healthy.

Sure you have a stewardship with your mind, of course, give a stewardship with your gifts and talents. Yeah but I say what most of us have bought into a culture where we find someone a little bit better than us, and we envy them because we compare ourselves with them and then we find someone a little bit lower than us, and we compare and we are either self-righteous. If we do it spiritually or we feel superior are an arrogant, because what really happened is we view ourselves rightly, you got it you got a look yourself in the mirror and say, God, thank you. You're all wise. You can make me six to, you could maybe 57 unit you could give me blue eyes or brown eyes you could have.

You could have an and all the answers to God's is one second I'm not made any mistakes ever ever, not even a small one. The wisdom of God is that God brings about the best possible results by the best possible means. For the most possible people. The longest possible time. Not only what he has done could not be done better, but how he does what he is done could not be improved upon. And that's who you are and you know when you embrace that all the sudden you know what it doesn't matter what they drive. It doesn't matter what their test scores are.

It doesn't matter if they went to this school or that school or whether they can shoot it tour kick it or play it were painted better than you because God's not comparing with any of them. You are his unique masterpiece comparison always leads to carnality to break it habitually choose to view others the way God does. Secondly, habitually choose to view yourself as God does, and third habitually choose to measure your performance and success by answering the following questions.

This is real quick but III literally. I do this all the time. You know I'm kinda nuts a little 3 x 5 cards knowledge that I actually ask myself these questions about my performance.

Okay, my performance as a father my performance as a husband my performance as a pastor my performance as a friend meet what we all perform we do things right and end the question is what are you successful or not, we all want to be successful by the way that word in Hebrew and in Joshua when it talks about meditating on his lawn or the you can be successful. The word means prudent to look into something in order to do your life in a way that is aligned with God's will or wisdom.

And so success real success is figure out how God is orchestrated life and doing life is way and so how do you measure success three questions. Question number one I ask is, did I give my very best effort that I give my very best effort, and I have been always have a verse with the sorry Colossians 323 whatever you do you heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men, for it is God who is going to reward that I give my best effort in my giving my best. Is this the best shot I've get I have is a dad is my best shot is a husband is my best shot on this message is my best shot. In this difficult situation that I give my best effort, not how did I do compared to someone else who does the same thing when I don't want to compare myself to Chuck Swindoll and Andy Stanley and all these other I'm not, I will compare myself to other people or these amazing fathers from you. I'm not. The question need to ask is that at first I give my best effort. Second, whom I seeking to impress, whom I seeking to impress in my seeking to impress my wife, my kids what people think of my my kids, my seeking to press other people. It's an audience of one. The only way you break the grip of comparison is to know success is. I gave my best effort. Number one, number two, I did it unto you. I love the little song by Sara Groves. It is called this journey as my own. If you never heard it's on her conversation album is awesome song sheet she has is little song where she says you know this journey of my own. There's a day I'm gonna stand before the Lord and she says his journey is mild. It's not what anyone else thinks, and that she has a great line. Why should I waste my life or lose my life trying to please people. Basically they'll never be able to please instead of God. Third question is this. Am I fulfilling my God ordained potential and you can jot down Matthew chapter 2514 through about 30 Matthew 25 seat.

Sometimes we get really excited and we think what I did great because you compare it to this person or this person or this person and I will tell you what you do naturally because you will be successful. We all find someone worse than us if your 10 talent person and you score 7 you'll get an but if you're you score 7 and most of the world is a four. The whole world can think you're a winner you are doing great. You are awesome. What a mother. What a father. What a worker what a friend but of God. The issue is not how are you doing relative to any other person.

The issue is how are you doing relative to who God made you and are you extracting the potential because I get before God. He's not asked me.

Well, you know these other speakers, other pastors men. They were better than you.

He's only got one question I deposited a certain amount of gift and talent in you chip how much of it.

Did you extract how much of it like the apostle Paul, I am what I am by the grace of God and you went for broke and you disciplined yourself and you were diligent and you did it on to me and I gave you this much and you really use this much. You didn't coast on gift you can compare yourself with other people. You became all I designed you to be as at the end of the day that will be the measuring stick comparison always leads to carnality. The key verse seven quickens 1012 the habits are three and their simple habitually choose to view others the way God does habitually choose to view yourself the way God does and measure success not by how you do with others but compared to who God made are you fulfilling your potential that little prince, transformational kind of relationships that I think just joining us, you're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram's message today comparison to carnality is from his series God's wisdom for building great relationships.

This brand-new series came out of chips desire to share what is learned from Scripture and personal circumstances about how life works and how it's possible with God's help to build really great relationships. It talks about our hopes or insecurities and our frustrations all in the context of relationships. Know this may be a series you want to listen to again or send to a friend to check out the resources for God's wisdom for building great relationships.

Visit us online at or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 will trip. I think his parents and grandparents. It's easy to see your kids getting sucked into the comparison game shows.

Often they don't want to talk about anything.

It's so hard to help him see what's happening. Tell us about a new tool we have to help people get the conversation going all day today.

Got Jerry McCauley here in the studio with me.

He's our head of product development, we've actually created a tool to help people open up that it might be hard for them to open up and you kinda use this tell us a little bit about how this works with different people's personalities. Yeah, we put together this this product called discuss this and it's a deck of 52 cards open-ended questions we really believe move people to deeper connection through conversation and sometimes people are Nessus necessarily comfortable moving from silence to conversations with some easy questions like, what's your favorite YouTube video. You and I feel like a lot of kids in the states culture have a favorite three or four videos, they always go back to to get a good laugh and so assessment is fun to socialize that pacifier on the table and take a look at that video and then we can move into more meaningful questions to like where can you be the most yourself and why. And I think if you can't be yourself and your family. Table or in the car with mom and dad were on a walk with grandmother, grandfather Yasser with some friends around the table where where is your safe place and so if you can describe that security comes just from the village around you and what I know and what we've tried to do is it's just can I just say it is just awkward and it normally doesn't happen in your the dad or the mom or the friend of the grandparent in your thinking. Everything is so superficial get off the stupid phone. Could we have a conversation but you know it you can't do it like that and to have a tool where you say hey let's open this up and let's do this.

We've actually seen people open up around the table that normally never would strew and there's these kids or friends are asking to play more and more often like he can get those cards out. Let's do some more questions. Together, let's all answer this question. So it's been exciting to see people connecting and also doing the storytelling part of that parents telling about their faith to their kids where the questions is share a story when God answer to prayer in your family how to change the way you viewed God while in so for a parent or grandparent to lead out how God is met there prayer need for their kids or grandkids to see if it's an incredible model for them. Well, we know that were talking about relationships in wisdom and relationships. This is a tool that will help you move down that path in the way that we all want to let me encourage you to get a set thanks guys will to check out the new discuss this cards just go to your website. we go there for you or a friend. This 52 card set will give you some great ideas on getting the conversation going for all the details and order your sets today. Just go to your website. will give us a call at 1888333600310 with a final thought. Here's chip. I am so excited about what we learn today and many just pause with me, will you.

Can you imagine what would happen in the world I mean in relationships everywhere. If all of us just would believe and receive these few lines of truth. The issue is not how I'm doing relative to other people.

The issue is how I'm doing relative to who God made me am I extracting the potential that is put in me and my fulfilling the purpose and the plan for me because here's the deal.

I'm not like anybody else. You're not like anybody else. God has a special plan for you. When you compare you either come away with thinking your better thinking your worse and both are wrong. The fact is your different your unique.

Can you imagine what would happen if little by little, you could say in your heart, over and over. Lord you love me you made me you gifted me and you brought me to this place and this time for a very specific purpose. I want to be who you made me to be and I want to fulfill the plan you have for me, God, would you help me see that. Would you give me the courage to step out and do it me. Can you imagine the impact that would have not just in your life but in the lives of believers. If we could just pause and you don't need to sing like that person you don't need to preach like that person you don't need to lead like that person you don't need to have mercy and compassion, and counsel like that person you know what you need to do. You just need to be you and take the gifts that God's given you and the passions and even their hurts that you've experienced that make you you and you need to not compare that person with anyone else, but just say Lord what's that look like to bring Grace to my family, what's that look like to encourage my friends how does me just who you made me what's that look like showing up at work.

Lord wants that look like in caring for my kids, my spouse, my friends were my roommate. Here's what I want you to know comparison always leads to carnality break the habit just before we close all to say thanks to those of you making a monthly donation to the ministry of Living on the Edge you're making a huge difference helping other Christians live like Christians and if you're benefiting from chips, teaching but are giftgiving would you think about joining the team. You can set up a recurring donation by visiting our website or by giving us a call at 1-888-333-6003 will be sure not to miss tomorrow's broadcast studio.

To answer your questions about relationships until the early say thanks for listening to this edition of living all the

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