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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Less Conflict and More Peace in Relationships

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever get in a conflict with someone? Of course you do! Everyone has to go through dreaded relational conflict from time-to-time. Although we all occasionally get into conflict, few people love it. The truth is, if anyone loves conflict, there is something wrong with that person. Peace, harmony, and unity should be the desire of anyone’s heart. The promotion of love, kindness, and preferring one another is what we are exhorted by God’s word to walk out. Peace, harmony, and unity are also something more than just a nice thing to pursue. God put it within our spiritual DNA to desire these things.

God’s Word helps us to see this truth more clearly. Psalms 133:1 KJV says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Ephesians 4:3 NLT says, "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace."

God created us to live this way and though the world seems anything but peaceful, it is God’s will for our lives. Before Adam’s sin which spread to all mankind; peace, harmony, and unity was the way of life and the design for mankind. It will also be the way of Heaven. Until then, sin has disrupted all that!

Obviously Satan is the author of strife and division and all things evil that steal mankind’s peace. God will one day completely stop him from tormenting mankind as Romans 16:20 KJV reveals to us, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Today I want to present to you a simple truth leading to more peace in your life. If you would first incorporate it within the belief system of your heart, and then begin to practice it in your life, you would see more peace in your daily dealings. The reason being is that it is a principle of God motivated by love and a desire for peace.

It comes from wisdom revealed in 1 Kings. King Solomon had died. His kingdom had experienced 40 years of peace that may have been the longest and most peaceful reign of any king ever. His son Rehoboam had begun to take over. He wanted advice about making a change in how the kingdom was run. The people wanted to know what kind of a king he was going to be. They were tired. King Solomon had taxed the people heavily and worked the people hard.

King Rehoboam needed wisdom and went to his two sets of advisers. They were his young advisers (young men newly promoted that had little to no experience,) and his older advisers that had served under his father for a great many years.

1 Kings 12:9-11 (NLT) “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?” The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”

This was cruel and uncompassionate advice from novices that were cocky and egotistical gloating in their new power. The older advisers gave Rehoboam contrary advice. “The older counselors replied, "If you are willing to serve the people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects." 1 Kings 12:7 NLT

This is not the advice that Rehoboam took but it is the advice that would have won the people and the kingdom. He refused it and listened to his young advisers. His kingdom soon failed.

Proverbs 15:1 NLT tells us,  "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare."  It’s more than just the gentle answer that yields these results. It’s the gentle answer, not as a manipulative tactic, but the response from a sincerely caring heart that desires unity and peace for all—a truth we should go to school on. Some people love to argue. Others just like to win in conflict. Frankly, both of those people are foolish.

If you will be a person who truly wants to love, serve, and help people—then when conflict arises, give a reasonable and gentle answer that takes into consideration what the other person is trying to get across. If you will be considerate of their position and give concession and work with them where you can—you will not only turn away wrath, you will have more people that are loyal and willing to work with you—a place of peace and harmony. Again, the older advisers said, "If you are willing to serve the people today and give them a favorable answer..." —one that takes in the interests and concerns of others, more often than not, it will result in more peace and harmony.

We may live in a world in turmoil, but Jesus said, “My peace I leave with younot as the world gives…” Having “…a heart to serve and a favorable answer…” is a path to peace and harmony!

Psalm 37:37 NLT “Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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