(Please Note: In Pastor Brad’s absence, a video of this message by Pastor Chris Hodges at Church of the Highlands was shown. We would like to thank Pastor Chris and Church of the Highlands for making these resources available for use.)
Good relationships are possible but not probable.
In other words, relationships require work and effort on our part to cause them to be what God wants them to be.
(Romans 12:2 NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Transform – God never just tells you to not do something without desiring to change you from the inside out to give you the ability to change. That is why God is not a God to be understood, He is a God to be experienced.
Four Causes of Conflict:
- Poor communication.
(Psalms 141:3 NKJV) Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
(Psalms 141:3 NLT) Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.
- Unfulfilled expectations.
(James 4:1-2 NIV) What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? (2) You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
- Despising differences.
(Mark 3:25 NKJV) And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
- Sin nature.
(Romans 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Four Ways to Deal with Conflict
- My way.
- Your way.
- Half way.
- God’s way.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5 NIV) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… (5) a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
There is always a way to handle everything you encounter.
When the Bible refers to gathering stones, it is a reference to building an altar. You can use those stones to throw at someone or you can use those stones to build an altar.
(Genesis 31:46 NIV) He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
Before you try and resolve any conflict with another person, let God do a work on the inside of you.
Conflict cannot continue without my participation.
Biblical thought is this:
(Galatians 2:20 NKJV) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Kill your own expectations and let God heal your heart!
- I will act not react.
Make some pre-planned decisions before you ever fight.
- Never put it off.
- Never call names.
- Never raise your voice.
- Never get historical.
- Never say never or always.
- Never threaten divorce.
(Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV) “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, (27) and do not give the devil a foothold.
- I will focus on the good things in you.
(Philippians 4:8 NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
- I will apply God’s grace to you.
(Romans 12:19-21 NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (20) On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- I will remember God’s grace to me.
(1 John 4:8-11 MSG) The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love–so you can’t know him if you don’t love. (9) This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. (10) This is the kind of love we are talking about–not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. (11) My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other.