Saturday, September 30, 2006
Getting Along: Why & How
Achieving Unity: Why?
I heard a good message in church recently about “achieving unity.” Seems like a fitting follow-up to recent posts about disharmony among Christians. Here are some excerpts from a sermon by Ross Sawyers (referencing Ken Sande, author of The Peacemaker):
We find our united purpose in Philippians 2: 1-4:
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
The Bible calls for unity and a singleness of purpose.
But when you get more than one person together, you are going to have the potential for conflict.
We look to scripture to find healthy ways to resolve conflict.
(Photo by Daload, see flickr.com for restrictions on use.)
Achieving Unity: How?
How does the world resolve conflict?
How are Christians to resolve conflict? Ken Sande’s “4 G’s”:
• Glorify God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
This should be the ultimate goal.
• Get the log out of your eye. (Matthew 7: 3-5)
Ask God to search your heart! Ask friends to speak the truth to you (versus
empathize). Find someone who is like iron to sharpen you.
• Gently restore. (Galatians 6:1)
Mend what is broken (versus hammer or attack). How? See Matthew 18: 15-17.
Also, seek wise counsel and avoid gossip. Seek facts, avoid emotion. Become
listeners (versus talkers).
• Go and be reconciled. (Matthew 5: 23-24)
If you’ve sinned against someone, or they have sinned against you… go and fix it. (Ephesians 4: 32, Romans 12:18, Proverbs 9:8)
We need eyes that are fixed on Jesus... not diverted and locked on disruptive relationships.
Settle conflict under the guidance of love. As Christ followers, the Spirit gives us a common bond of love… an affection deep within that moves toward an outward common purpose.
Conflict is a reality. It's in marriage, families, friendships, work relationships... and the church. But our relationships should be stronger on the other end... if we do it right.
The full sermon is available on CD. Visit www.121cc.com for more information.
(Photo by Christof Wittwer, see flickr.com for restrictions on use.)