A God-blessed Church:Part 2
Sermon shared by Gary Shockley
Summary: What are the qualities and characteristics of a church God is seeking to bless?
Audience: General adults
Listen again to what the Bible says about cooperation in Philippians 2:1-2
There is no room in the kingdom of God—and I would add in a God-blessed church- for lone rangers! We are in this together or we are not in it at all! A great commitment to a great community means cooperation. Secondly, I believe it requires:
Conflict Resolution- conflict is an inevitable part of human relationships. If you don’t experience some conflict in your marriage, your parenting, your work, your family—then you’re probably dead or you’re not being very real with others.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am not afraid of conflict. In fact my staff would probably tell you that I enjoy creating a certain amount of conflict. I see that as part of my job. Know why? Because out of conflict comes incredible creativity, new directions, new relationships, new possibilities—if you deal with it properly. That’s the key!
The Bible can inform us here. We read in the book of James chapter one verse 19, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.”
Now, does the Bible say, “Never get angry? Never be in conflict with another person?” No, because God knows as emotional creatures that’s going to happen. There are times when we’re going to hurt or be hurt by someone’s words or actions. God’s Word says, in Ephesians 4:26, “Don’t sin by letting that anger you feel gain control over you.” Circle “gain control.” And then it continues, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.” In other words, when you are angry at someone—and you will be—whether it’s your spouse, child, parent, co-worker, church member—whoever it will be—don’t sit on it—work quickly to resolve the conflict.
A couple of practical things here I have learned over the years. The first has to do with a way of preventing conflict and the second is a plan of action for resolving conflict once it happens.
1. How to prevent conflict: I have seen more relationships get really messed up because of something called “triangulation”. It’s easier for me to illustrate what triangulation is. I said something to Wally that hurt her feelings. I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t my intention. But she was hurt by what I said. Instead of coming back to me directly to tell me how she was hurt and giving me a chance to reconcile Wally calls Ken. Ken hears her story. In fact he encourages her to tell all the juicy tidbits. Now he’s feeling badly for Wally—and is upset with me—so Ken calls me to tell me how upset Wally is. Now we have a triangle of conflict. And here’s how the poison spreads. What was once between me and Wally is now between Wally and me and Wally and Ken and Ken and me. So now I have two conflicted relationships. But what happens then when Ken mentions something to Steve at band practice and then Steve goes home to tell his wife Michelle? Next thing you know everyone is upset with someone and the conflict becomes unmanageable.
It doesn’t have to be this way! When Wally went to Ken he could have stopped the triangulation by saying, “Wally, I’m not the one you need to be talking to about this. You need to talk to Gary and tell him how you feel.” Wally would have called me and we
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