Summary: A message about dealing with conflict. We can react from the natural man or the spiritual man. Often in life we start by responding in the flesh, but if we are smart we can let our training kick in and turn situations around in a marvelous way.
(Note to pastor's, a link for the video I used is included at the end of the message. Handout notes available on request.)
Then His Training Kicked In
PPT 1 Series title
We are in a series of messages on matters of the heart, or things that affect us emotionally. Last week we talked about loneliness and this week and next we are going to talk about conflict.
PPT 2 Conflict
I know I have a picture of a couple fighting up there, but conflict can be with almost anyone, including yourself. It is such a large subject I am going to give several weeks to it.
Jacob near death spoke prophetically over his 12 sons and this is the word he gave over two of them:
PPT 3 text
Genesis 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers; Their swords are implements of violence.
Genesis 49:6 "Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
Jacob is lamenting that 2 of his 12 sons are prone to fits of violence. They punch walls, slam doors, kick dogs and lash out at people. God have mercy on anyone or anything that is around them when that happens. There may be some of you here this morning that live in that type of home. I pray not, but odds are it impacts several families in this and every church. If we apply simple mathematics to Jacob's family it would imply almost 20% of us are way too angry. The number is probably even higher than that.
I want to show you an amazing video this morning of a police officers response to an explosion. I want to use it as a launch pad to teach on how we should respond to situations where there have been or could be explosions of anger.
PPT 4 Video
I edited the tape, but you need to know it took the officer much longer to get that man out of the burning car than the clip you saw seems to show. He really put his life in danger. In watching that video it reminds me of the rigorous training Secret Service agents have to run to gunfire and not run from it. Running to danger instead of rom danger takes serious training. In the same way to respond with gentleness often requires that we slow down take a deep breath and let our spiritual training kick in. To make things better and safer, Secret Service personnel may be called upon to make themselves vulnerable to harm and death. They have to stop defending their own selves and protect that which is greater, in their case it is the president or whoever.
In our case we have to stop defending ourselves to protect our marriage, or our Christian testimony.
Every conflict gives you an opportunity to display your anger/temper or your Christian graces.
(I'll show you just how angry I am, how loud I can get, how big a tantrum I can throw.)
Let's break the video down, and learn some things.
The state police superintendent states four things about the hero cop.
1. He starts out as a civilian
2. He becomes a victim
3. His training kicks in
4. He saves a persons life
1. He starts out as a civilian. That may be a strange phrase for some of you, but anyone who has served as a police officer, fireman, or in the military understands it perfectly. A civilian is euphemism for an ordinary person. A person when they are in a different role than their role as a soldier or a public servant.
Wearing civvies is when a police or military person mentally disengages from their other role in life.
When a soldier/sailor is in his civvies the military is usually the farthest things from their minds.
Likewise, when we are out of our spiritual clothes our actions and attitudes change. I am not talking about being a hypocrite, I am talking about the fact that some times we unconsciously step out of our role as believers and start acting from our carnal nature. Keeping the flesh in line requires constant vigilance. But sometimes we wear our spiritual clothes in church, and when we change our physical clothes at home there is also a change in who is in the drivers seat of our personality. Here I am pastor, but when I get home I am dad, and Maurice. In church everyone values my opinion, at home, well that could be a different story. (ha ha)
The police officer starts out in his role as a civilian and that is why he runs from the explosion and fire.
When we step out of our role as Christians we can act in ways that are like throwing gasoline on the fire. Instead of peacemaker we can be trouble maker. That won't end well. We start acting in ways that are incongruous with our Christian faith, and are more in line with fallen human nature.