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Habits that Lead to Happiness Pt. 3

How to Reduce Conflict That Leads to Unhappiness

If you would like to extend this over a week, you can easily do one of the points each day in your devotion. If you would like a printable copy of this plan, click here.
"Pride always leads to arguments." Proverbs 13:10 (TLB) 
As new believers, we quickly learn that harmony creates happiness while selfish ambition and vain conceit create conflict.  The Bible lays out a humble path to happiness, while Proverbs 13:10 above teaches us that pride leads to arguments.  I can reduce my conflict with others if I:
(1) Never let my pride be my guide!
(2) Be humble or I'll stumble!
(3) Learn the lost art of paying attention!
(4) Learn the habit of acting like Jesus.

Acting like Jesus means that:
(1) I don't demand what I think I deserve,
(2) I look for ways that I can serve, and
(3) I do what's right even when it's painful.
OPEN YOUR TIME WITH A PRAYER.
1. Open your Bible and read Philippians 2:1-11.  What two essential behaviors are discussed in these verses that are at the root of happiness?  What specifically did Jesus do that exemplified these behaviors?  How man examples did you find?
Philippians 2:2 - You will make my joy complete by having the same mind, by sharing the same love, by being united in spirit, and intent on one purpose. (NAS)
2.  What are four different kinds of harmony identified in Philippians 2:2 above?
__________________, ___________________, ___________________, and _____________________.

3. Which of these do you find easy to embrace in your relationships and how do you feel about them?  Which ones do you have a more difficult time with?  Can you think of some ideas how you could more easily develop these?

Galatians 5:19-21 - Our self-indulgent nature shows itself...in conflict, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, causing divisions among people and the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group.

4.  Refer to the verse above and consider your own life and relationships and any recent conflicts.  Did you consider your own self-indulgent nature as a contributing factor  to the conflict?

Think about how our human nature destroys our harmony.  Think about how this impacts
your happiness and the happiness of others.

Philippians 2:3b - When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide.  Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.  (NCV)

5.  Read Philippians 2:3b above and think about what is meant by "giving more honor to others than to yourself."  If you went through a full day with this as the "theme of your day," would you do anything different?

Would your interactions with others be different?  When someone shows that they value
you, how do you respond to them?

Philippians 2:9-11 - Because of this God exalted Jesus to the highest honor, and made his name greater than every other name.  That at the name of Jesus every knee will one day bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and give glory to God the Father.

6.  How has God the Father exalted Jess according to Philippians 2:9-11 above?

7.  What effect does our full realization of Christ's eternal position in heaven have on our beliefs and actions on earth today?

What will our reward on earth and in heaven be for this?

Isaiah 14:13-14 - You said in your heart, "I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (NIV)

8. Finding happiness requires us to be humble and focused on others, counter to our culture and Satan's prideful boasting as shown in the verse above from Isaiah.  This is not a new cultural problem  Can you think of any small things in your life that mirror the sentiments in this verse?  Does it surprise you? How do you feel about it?

9.  Jesus modeled harmony and humility.  Describe how you will model these in your life.  What makes this difficult?