Monday, July 23, 2012

Building Lasting Relationships

Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face. (1:15) Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name. 3 John 1:12-14

This is the last in this three part series from the Book of Third John on Building Lasting Relationships.  In the first week we looked at four ways Gaius did this.  In the second week we looked at how Diotrephes was destroying relationships and causing conflicts.  This didn’t happen all at once, but rather it developed in stages over a period of time.  The first stage was RESISTANCE; he refused to submit to authority.  The second stage was CRITICISM; he made unjust accusations toward others.  The third stage was ISOLATION; he shut himself off from others.  The final stage was CONTROL; this is where he went so far as to threaten people and force them to follow him.
It is very apparent that many people just don’t know how to communicate properly and as a result cause many misunderstandings and problems.  Marriages, businesses and all relationships are as strong as their ability to communicate.  Here in our text John gives us
Three Ways Communication Can Be Used To Mend A Broken Relationship.
1.    Speak In A Truthful Manner – 3 John 1:12, “Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.”   
Whenever we have conflict with another person it is vitally important that we do everything we can to keep the lines of communication open.  Demetrius was a man who could be believed because he had a “good testimony.”  This was the reason why John sent Demetrius to Diotrephes.  In order to believe what someone say they have to have credibility.
A tobacco company heard that an old man living up in the hills had been smoking their brand of cigarettes all his life and was now over a hundred years old.  The company wrote him a letter and invited him to come to New York, spend the night in a famous hotel, and appear on a national television program at 10:00 in the morning to give a testimonial for their tobacco.  The old man wrote a very short letter back and told them that he couldn’t accept their offer.  A representative from the company called the old man back and said, “We’re calling you about our letter.  We still want you to come to New York, spend the night and appear on TV at 10:00 am to give a testimony of our tobacco.”  Again the old man said that he couldn’t accept.  “You mean to say you don’t want a free trip to New York?”  The representative asked.  “Oh, that would be fine.” Replied the old man.  “However, I can’t appear on your television show at 10:00 in the morning.”  “But why?” the executive asked.  To which the old man responded, “Because, I don’t stop coughing until noon every day!”
Demetrius was a man who could be believed because he had three very impressive references.  His first reference was the witness of others.  John says that Demetrius has received a “good testimony from everyone.”  His second reference was the witness of the BIBLE.  Even “the truth itself” was a witness that Demetrius was living his life in accordance with God’s Word.  His life matched the Word of God.  Then his third reference was the witness of the BELOVED.  Even the Apostle John himself gave his personal stamp of approval concerning Demetrius.
Nothing destroys effective communication more than lies and distrust.  John found a man who could be used as a mediator for all saw him as fair and open.  May God be able to use us the same way.

Scripture to Claim:
Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.  Ephesians 4:25  (TLB)

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