Summary: Are low conflict relationships one of the desires of your heart? Part IV
Qualities for low conflict Christians (Part IV)
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you!”
Relationships are very important! (Repeat as much as you sense is necessary)
It is one of the desires of my heart to be in relationships that have very little or no conflict in them. Do you think this is a “do-able” situation? Is it really possible to have low conflict relationships when you think about all of the different personality types in our world, our nation, our state, our city, our church? Are there graces or gifts available to us to help us have relationships with very little conflict? Yes there are! They are…Humor, Humility, Empathy, Optimism, Flexibility, Self Control, Transparency, Communication, Trustworthiness, Cold Tin Roof, Giving Credit.
Today we want to continue our series and look at a few more graces this morning.
1. The Grace of Submission—I Peter 2:13-17
It seems to me that in this day the very thing that is the going thing is this idea of radical individualism. I really do not know what has caused this in our day. The internet could have something to do with it. In our day we no longer have to leave our homes for stamps, we can pay bills online, we can do ebay and I suppose between the Schawn’s man and the internet you would never have to leave your home for anything if you happen to be independently wealthy. So, people in our day have become islands to themselves to be disturbed by no one and be in submission to no one.
But this is not a new thing…Evidently there must have been some radical individualistic Christians in the NT times as well. Peter begins to warn those in his readership family that they as Christians must submit themselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake. He gives several reasons in this passage for doing so. The first is:
a. Do it for the Lord’s sake v.13
Peter says submit to those who have rule over you because it is a testimony to the grace of God that resides within.
b. It is the will of God v.15
Peter says, “by doing good (the ultimate doing of good is doing God’s will) you will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Peter is saying here that the old buddy system is not going to get it done. But what will get you ahead in life is if you on purpose submit to those who are in authority over you.
c. It is the duty of the free v.16
The only true people who are free today are not Americans. The only truly free people in our world today are not the newly liberated, democratically voting Iraqi’s. Freedom is not defined by being part of the land down under (Austrailia) or the being a part of the beauty of the North Pole. But freedom is only understood by people who are truly free and those individuals who are free people are Christians. No other people in the entire world are truly free. Christians know what it means to be free. However, Peter says…don’t use the liberty that you have as a cloak for vice. Don’t use your freedom to skip out on your responsibility to the king of the land, or the governor, or those who have rule over. Submission is a grace. Do you have the grace of submission?
Summary in verse 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King.
2. The Grace of Focus---I Corinthians 2:1-5
Henry Ford said, “A weakness of all human beings is trying to do too many things at once. That scatters effort and destroys direction. It makes for haste, and haste makes waste. So we do things all the wrong ways possible before we come to the right one. Then we think it is the best way because it works, and it was the only way left that we could see. Every now and then I wake up in the morning headed toward that finality, with a dozen things I want to do. I know I can’t do them all at once." When asked what he did about that, Ford replied, "I go out and trot around the house. While I’m running off the excess energy that wants to do too much, my mind clears and I see what can be done and should be done first." Bits & Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 18.
Do you think Paul got out and trotted around the prison he was in to stay focused? Do you think the tent making industry he was in caused him to lose his focus?
LET’S READ: I Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul was a focused man! His face was set like a flint. He had the ability to write letters to churches, sew material for tents, hang out in a prison, and all the while stay focused on what really matters. And my friends what really matters is that we remember that it is all about Jesus Christ and Him crucified. But not only is it all about Jesus Christ and Him crucified but it is all about Jesus Christ being raised up from the dead and going away to prepare a place for us and it is all about Jesus interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.