Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Continue...Convey...Conflict...Convoy

The Christian Church is sometimes described as a ship carrying its passengers across dangerous waters to a distant port. One of the perils we face as believers arises when conflict develops between our fellow sojourners. Differences of opinion are normal, however we sometimes can allow our disagreements to fester and distract us from our common destination.

In the Bible we find recorded many different ways to deal with Life's stresses and trials. Abraham reasoned with God over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He sought to use arguments and logic to convince the Most High God! Pilate and Herod were both appeasers, solving dilemmas at any cost for the sake of keeping the peace. Jonah was the typical evader. He ran from his assignment at Ninevah, fearing the conflict that he would encounter there. King Saul was an aggressor. He shifted blame to David and verbally attacked and actively sought to get rid of him by threat of death. David prayed and showed dependence upon God in his struggle with Saul. Whenever he did this he was on the right track, yet he often fell short of the Lord's standard.

Jesus shows a better way. He always went beyond the human concern to the root cause of the difficulty and dealt with those who opposed Him with divine compassion and courage. He commands us to do the same, to pray about our disputes, to give attention to His advice, His Word, and to be obedient in loving the person despite the problem. After all, the Scripture does not say, 'Love your neighbour, if', but rather, 'Love God and love your neighbour'. No conditions! We are called to obey even when in serious disagreement. Love works through our petty squabbles and goes far beyond them to touch the wounded hearts of our adversaries. When we learn to live and work together our ship will reach port with fewer delays and dangers. Are we really prepared to love the other?

Jesus loves us! He establishes peace in the natural and man-made storms which beset us. All we need to do is invite His divine assistance.
The storms are raging. He is mighty to save. Alleluia!

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