Victory Church
Relational Health for the Holidays
November 21, 2021

Relational Health for the Holidays

November 21, 2021

Relational Health for the Holidays


Win them with love.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally holidays where we enjoy the company of family and friends.

We eat, we talk, we laugh, we remember, we relax.

Right now, there is a polarization among people worldwide.

There are conservative Christians and liberal Christians. There are denominational Christians and non- denominational Christians.

There are vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated. There are mask wearers and those that don’t.

Republicans, Democrats. Those in the MAGA movement and those who despise Trump.

There are capitalists, socialist, communists, and Marxist.

And there is a chance during the holidays that you will be in a room where there are lots of differences.

What is the will of God for you in these situations?

Don’t try to win the argument. Win the heart.

Mark 11:25- Amplified

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.

Romans 12:18 (NKJV)

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18 (NCV)

Do your best to live in peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18 (PHILLIPS)

As far as your responsibility goes, live at peace with everyone.

Matthew 7:6 (NKJV)

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6 (NIV)

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (TPT)

Now, even though I am free from obligations to others, I joyfully make myself a servant to all in order to win as many converts as possible. 20 I became Jewish to the Jewish people in order to win them to the Messiah. I became like one under the law to gain the people who were stuck under the law, even though I myself am not under the law. 21 And to those who are without the Jewish laws, I became like them, as one without the Jewish laws, in order to win them, although I’m not outside the law of God but under the law of Christ. 22 I became “weak” to the weak to win the weak. I have adapted to the culture of every place I’ve gone so that I could more easily win people to Christ. 23 I’ve done all this so that I would become God’s partner for the sake of the gospel.

John 13:34-35 (NLT)

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

1 John 3:14 (NLT)

If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.

Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (TPT)

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. 5 Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. 6 Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. 7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.


Let me describe love. It is slow to lose patience; love stays in difficult relationships with kindness, and it always looks for ways to be constructive. There is no envy in love. It is not possessive and never boils over with jealousy. Love makes no parade of itself; it never boasts, nor does it puff up with pride. Love is never arrogant and never puts itself on display, because it is neither anxious to impress, nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love never gets irritated and is never resentful.

Love holds no grudges, and it keeps no record of evil done to it. Love refuses to be provoked and never harbors evil thoughts.

Love is not rude or grasping or overly sensitive, nor does love search for imperfections and faults in others. Love does not compile statistics of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. Love celebrates what is real and not what is perverse or incomplete.

Love never does the graceless thing. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. Love never insists on its own rights, never irritably loses its temper, and never nurses its wrath to keep it warm. Love is not touchy.

Love can stand any kind of treatment because there are no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust. Love bears up under anything; it perseveres in all circumstances. Love’s first instinct is to believe in people. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best in him, and always stand your ground in defending him. Love never regards anyone or anything as hopeless. Love keeps up hope in everything. Love’s hope never fades.

Love keeps on keeping on! It trusts in God in every situation and expects God to act in all circumstances. Love goes on forever. Nothing can destroy love. Nothing can happen that can break love’s spirit. In fact, it is the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas, let’s let love win.


Mark 11:25- Amplified

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally holidays when we enjoy the company of family and friends.

We eat, we talk, we laugh, we remember, we relax.

But the holidays are a tough time for many people when they are reminded of life changes, or when you get together with relatives and friends and there has been past tension in these relationships.

For some, mental and emotional baggage from past events keep them from enjoying today’s moments.

This can change for you this year with God’s help!

All of us must be willing to confront past mental and emotional pain.

Philippians 3:13 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

Forgetting (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

g1950. ἐπιλανθάνομαι epilanthanomai; middle voice from 1909 and 2990; to lose out of mind; by implication, to neglect: — (be) forget (-ful of).

We must purposefully choose to “lose out of the mind” those hurts or angering things that produce unforgiveness about issues in our past.

Hurt is another word for anger!

These things do not go away alone.

Many people think that if they ignore mental/emotional relational weights that they will just lessen, and eventually go away.

They do not go away. They become internalized and cause additional problems!

Burying mental and emotional pain (anger) hardens us to God’s presence and to closer,

richer fellowship with the people in our lives.

Mental and emotional pain (anger) is tied to unforgiveness that we hold towards family, friends, and even God, when life events disappoint us.

So, let’s talk about how to release through forgiveness the mental and emotional pain we carry.


1. Hinders my relationship with Jesus

2. Produces bitter root judgments and expectations (talk about later)

3. Affects physical health

Proverbs 14:30 (AMPC)
A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.

4. Adversely affects my relationships

12 Excuses we give ourselves for holding unforgiveness

People often make excuses for failing to forgive, and end up hurting themselves first, and then hurting others.

See if any of these fit your experience:

  1. The person never asked for forgiveness
  2. The offense was too great.
  3. The person does not accept responsibility.
  4. I simply do not like the person.
  5. The person committed the offense too many times.
  6. The person is not truly sorry.
  7. I have found an excuse for the offense.
  8. Someone has to punish the person.
  9. The person did it deliberately.
  10. Something keeps me from forgiving.
  11. If I forgive, I will have to treat the offender well.
  12. I will forgive, but I will never forget.

None of these excuses are acceptable reasons for failing to forgive and let go of offense!

3 Steps in Forgiving Others

Forgiveness is a Choice, Not a Feeling!

Colossians 3:13 (AMPC)

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

3 Key Points about Forgiving

We forgive the same way the Lord has forgiven us.

Forgiveness is an action that eventually affects emotions

The initial act to forgive someone may contain no emotion.

When God forgives, He does 3 things. When we forgive, we do 3 things.

Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

3 Things God does when He forgives you:

He says:

  1. I will not bring the event up to you again.
  2. I will not bring up the event to others.
  3. I will completely forget it Myself.

3 Things we must do to truly forgive:

I will:

  1. Not bring the event up in conversation to the person again.
  2. Not talk about it with others.
  3. Choose to replace the thought of it with prayer for the offender each time it comes to mind.

If we choose not to forgive, a root of bitterness could spoil relationships.

Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

* Bitter Root Judgments

Anger and resentment at what someone has done to you, with an undertone that they owe you something because of what they did

Because of this, you expect the same thing that happened in one relationship to happen in another. Causes a sour attitude towards the offender and eventually spills over into other relationships.

* Bitter Root Expectations

You look for others to do to you what the offender has done, or you expect the offender to repeat the offense over and over.

Exaggerated responses often indicate emotional/mental struggles that may stem from unforgiveness!

I have had to deal with forgiving people who have hurt me in my past if I want to rid myself of bitter roots that weigh down my emotions.

* My 1st girlfriend ran away and got married to someone else!

* People who were not honest with promises made to me.

* People who rejected me as a child – produced a fear reaction when their challenging opinions disagreed with my own.

How to be freed from bitter roots:

1. Make a list of the people you may see over the holidays, and where you may hold an offense.

Remember that every relationship leaves a mark on my life.

The degree that the relationship affects me is determined by:

1) its depth (how close I am to the person) and

2) its intensity (how frequently I interact with the person).

2. Take one person at a time and ask the Lord to show you any unresolved issues in your mind towards the person.

As Christians we often think we forgive others when we really don’t go back and deal with the detailed thoughts about a relationship that have left a “print” on us.

3. Make any judgments you have towards a person into one sentence statements. Include the event that occurred, and also how it made you feel.

4. Confess to the Lord what you have judged the person for, and how what they did made you feel. Ask Him to forgive you for judging the person. Then tell the Lord that you forgive the person and that you release the judgments that you have against them by faith.

For deeply emotional issues, you may need another person with you to help you and to identify with you as a human that has been wronged by another.

3 Elements to True Forgiveness

1. The initial act

2. Daily follow-through with replacing thoughts about the incident with prayer

3. The actual release of offensive emotions

Think of a train when you forgive:

Engine (the initial act of forgiving) –

Cars (dealing with daily negative thoughts about the person by praying for them every time the thoughts come up) –

Caboose (feelings of forgiveness)


Action Points:

  1. Do you have family and friends who have hurt you?
  2. Are you willing to give up your “right” to hold offense towards them?
  3. Have you chosen to forgive and followed the simple steps to forgive?


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