Sermons

Summary: Had any conflict at your house this week? Be honest. Maybe it was one of those he-said-she-said things. First came the noise of quarreling, then even worse—the deafening silence. So much of the pain in life flows from relational conflict. We think i

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Had any conflict at your house this week? Be honest. Maybe it was one of those he-said-she-said things.

First came the noise of quarreling, then even worse—the deafening silence.

So much of the pain in life flows from relational conflict. We think it’ll go away if we just sweep it under the rug or flip some pages on the calendar, but we can’t avoid it—so we need to resolve it!

Rex and Eric: Two High Strung instruments that got tangled.

God is all about his children living in peace. Romans 12:16-21 outlines seven steps to put conflict to rest. Paul wrote:

• Be aggressive. (driving forceful energy or initiative) Be of the same mind toward one another (v.16). If you’re not on good terms with somebody, go to him or her and work it out immediately.

• Be humble. Do not be haughty in mind. Do not be wise in your own estimation (v.16). Want a quick end to your conflict? Never allow yourself to be too proud to listen to the other person.

• Be positive.Never pay back evil for evil. Respect what is right in the sight of all (v.17). Fight fair! Focus on the others’ strengths, not their weaknesses.

• Be peaceable. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with everyone (v.18). Cut through all the pride and say, “I want to work this out.” Seek peace.

King Josiah: Young King Seeking God2 Chronicles 35:20-24

• Be forgiving. Never take your own revenge (v.19). Forgiveness is moving from “You owe me” to “You owe me nothing.” There are no enduring relationships without forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the choice to release others from the obligation that resulted when they hurt you. Initiate reconciliation and look for good results.

• Be provocative. (excite,or stimulate) If your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head (v.20). In other words, wow them with sincere kindness!

• Be strong. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (v.21). When we let God download these seven things into our lives, a lot of great things will happen in our relationships.

Closing:

Which of the above seven steps do I need to focus on in resolving conflict?

Which one do I do well? Which one is a struggle?

Illustration-----------Nails in the Fence

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence.


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