Summary: : The CAUSE of Conflict
A guide at Blarney Castle in Ireland was explaining to some visitors that his job was not always as pleasant as it seemed. He told them about a group of disgruntled tourists he had taken to the castle earlier in the week.
"These people were complaining about everything," he said. "They didn’t like the weather, the food, their hotel accommodations, the prices, everything. Then to top it off, when we arrived at the castle, we found that the area around the Blarney Stone was roped off. Workmen were making some kind of repairs." "This is the last straw!" exclaimed one lady who seemed to be the chief faultfinder in the group. "I’ve come all this way, and now I can’t even kiss the Blarney Stone."
"Well, you know," the guide said, "according to legend, if you kiss someone who has kissed the stone, it’s the same as kissing the stone itself." "And I suppose you’ve kissed the stone," said the exasperated lady. "Better than that." replied the guide. "I’ve sat on it."
When people complain we often want to tell them they can kiss the ole blarney stone. We want to grumble and complain about them grumbling and complaining about us. We want to pin the blame on them and make them hold it. We want to wallow in our own self pity about how bad they have treated or how bad the situation is. But God has a better way of dealing with conflict. He wants us to focusing on the C.A.U.S.E. of the Conflict.
Turn with me today’s text where we will find the church steeped once again in conflict. Acts 6:1-7
Conflict is a very real part of life whether it is in the home, workplace, school or church. And when it rears it’s ugly head we have second thoughts about the people or church that is involved, we can feel threatened and angry. It can destroy families, homes and churches. But conflict doesn’t have to be bad. When dealt with in the right manner it can lead to growth.
The church was growing, 3,000 to 5,000 to 20,000
Complaining started – the word translated “complaint” is an unpleasant word. used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament for the murmuring that the Jews did against Moses in the wilderness. A low grumbling growl. I wonder how many churches have been destroyed by a spirit of murmuring? God may be working in marvelous ways, souls are being saved, and then someone gets it into their heads that they are not being appreciated. A spirit of complaining develops as someone goes around the church complaining to anyone who will listen. Little unkind things are said, innuendos and implications are made that reflect negatively on character and integrity of “them”. Suddenly the people begin to wonder why the work of God does not make more progress, why there seems to be so little evidence of power and why more people are not being saved.
I don’t think it was a deliberate neglect – language barrier, cultural barierr…
The disciples response to the conflict gave us an example of how we can deal with the CAUSE of conflicts in our lives.
The Lesson: the C.A.U.S.E of Conflict
C – Clearly accept responsibility
- could have over-reacted to the problem, they could have ignored it hoping it would go away, could have beat themselves up over it – instead they decided to address the CAUSE of the conflict
A - Address the problem to the appropriate people, in the appropriate place, at the appropriate time
• address the problem with friends,
• knee jerk reaction
• without thought
• Not swept under the rug openly, didn’t deny it – admit there is a problem
• With the right people, at the right time and in the right place
o The apostles – spiritually mature
o Both parties involved in the conflict
• Shows respect
• Shows you see the issue as important – both ministry of word and ministry of the “tables” disbursement of daily needs or money.
U – Use godly wisdom
Church sign “jesus only” storm came blew off jes left “us only”
Keep the focus on God – teaching, preaching and prayer
S – Seek a solution that can “please” the whole group, including God
Please not ourselves but the whole group
Usually involves compromise and servanthood (willing waiters)
God will give us the strength and aid to move toward resolution
E – Empower the plan
Choose the right people – involved those who were “victims” – integrity and wisdom, full of HS-
• spiritually mature people
Delegated the plan to them
Gave them godly authority to fulfill the plan – laying on of hands