Summary: Prevention is the best way to keep from having to deal with pain that comes with conflict.
• PC VIDEO
• SLIDE #1
• Ouch! Conflict can be and is always painful in some way. Conflict can take an emotional, spiritual and as in our video clip, a physical toll on you.
• Conflict can destroy relationships, organizations, teams, teeth, and families.
• Today I want us to us through a three-part mini-series on the issue of being a peacemaker or put another way how to deal with the issue of conflict.
• Today we will explore three principles that can help us to prevent conflict before it begins.
• Prevention is the best method of avoiding the pain and aftermath of conflict. Once we get into a conflict, we can fix the situation, but the pain caused by the conflict can last much longer than the actual conflict.
• The context of the passage today deals with unity in the church. The principles we will explore can help us to prevent conflicts before they can inflict their damage.
• Let’s turn to Ephesians together and our examination will begin with verse 1 and 2 from chapter 4.
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 4:1–2 (ESV) 4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
• SLIDE #3
I. Strive to make sure your conduct reflects your special calling. (1-2)
• Many conflicts start because someone wants their way no matter what the cost or no matter what methods they need to use.
• Some conflicts turn into search and destroy missions. In the midst of conflict it is easy to forget who we serve, it is easy to focus on what we want and forget about the fact that we are ambassadors for Christ.
• Paul in his plea to maintain unity begins with reminding us who we serve and then urges us to make sure we walk in a manner worthy of our special calling in Christ.
• The word urge comes from a word that means to “come along side of.”
• The root of the word is used when Jesus speaks in reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
• SLIDE #4
• John 16:7 (ESV) Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
• The word URGE also gives us a flavor of the word not being something that is optional. It is a mandatory plea, an appeal for folks to come along side of each other or to join forces to see that we do what God has called us to do.
• The word denotes a stirring call to action.
• We are being urged to make sure that the way we live matches the call we have from God to live for Him.
• We are urged to walk in a manner WORTHY of the calling to which we have been called.
• This word WORTHY has interesting meaning in the original text.
• It speaks of balance as on a set of scales.
• In our context on one side of the scales is the manner in which God calls us to live and on the other side of the scale is the way we actually live.
• We are to live in balance with our calling.
• We need to realize that we are called to a VERY HIGH STANDARD by God and we are called to strive to reach that lofty standard even when the standard seems out of reach, God’s standard for us is our goal.
• By the power of the Holy Spirit with in us and by God’s grace we can inch closer and closer to being able to live our lives in balance where our walk matches our talk!
• One of the ways we WILL prevent conflict and the subsequent damage that follows is to simply strive to conduct ourselves in such a way that our walk lines up with our calling.
• Too many times when someone or something gets in the way of what we want we are too quick to toss our faith aside. It is easy to do; I have to fight the same temptation.
• We are in this together so we can help one another stay strong!
• As a reminder, Paul shares verse 2 with us. In verse 2 we are given a glimpse of what a worthy walk should resemble.
• I want to do a short overview of each of these traits, and as we look at them, it because evident as to why making these traits the focus of our life will help us to prevent conflict.