Scriptures for today
- Psalm 23
- 1 Samuel 15:10-21
- Ephesians 4:25-32
In this New Testament passage, I guess it was Paul, gives us a wonderful lesson in positive conflict resolution. We are told to be angry, and I would guess also to be full of conviction for our own truth, but not to sin, or I would say not to act or speak in a way that harms or offends those with whom we disagree. He says that we are members of one another. This is reason enough to disagree with respect.
He goes on to say, also let no evil talk come out of our mouths but basically to say our truth in a way that is edifying and fits the occasion. In other words, we can speak our piece but not in anger or disagreeably even when we disagree.
Let bitterness, wrath, anger, slander, malice etc. be put from us and be kind to one another and forgiving as God forgives us.
It is wonderful to know that Paul sees God as Jesus has taught us, as a God who does not condone violence in the face of disagreement or strong feelings of opposition to one another. In other words, there will always be conflict, but there never needs to be fisticuffs. We find that to be the way we honour one another in our study groups when we don’t see eye to eye, and we even saw it in the Olympics where even in the hockey games there was no fighting!!
I believe that this is exactly who God is, the one who sees that we will always disagree on what is right and true, but unlike the God of the Old Testament, God does not take sides and ask us to eliminate our enemies, but rather to honour them and talk truly to them about our side of the issues and although it is not said here, probably also to listen with respect to the other. ♥
by Jean Reid