We all face conflict in our lives from time to time. No matter how much we try to avoid it, the enemy finds us. When conflict comes into our lives, we have to deal with it. When we don’t address a problem that is obvious to those around us, it only makes matters worse for everyone involved and everyone around. The problem only gets bigger and is going to eventually need to be dealt with. And it is much easier to deal now with the smaller problem than it will be to deal with a much larger and more complex one later.
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“But I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” – 1 Corinthians 5:11
In today’s scripture, the apostle Paul identifies a problem in the church in Corinth. He addresses the problem head on, and gives them guidance on how to deal with it. He does this in a simple 5 step process by (1) describing the problem, (2) encouraging a response, (3) showing that he understands the other person’s position, (4) explaining why the act is damaging, and (5) indicating and reinforcing the desired action. Also critical to note that Paul does this in the right Spirit and frame of mind. He doesn’t get overly emotional and is able to have the conversation with a solid presence.
Paul is strong and bold, but understanding. He is often referred to as the velvet covered brick. His motivation is not for the purpose of punishing, but for the purpose of restoration. He knows that healthy confrontation yields a deeper relationship. Respect will rise with the person confronted, and the other people of mutual relationship. And from a leadership standpoint, people will be more likely to follow you if they know you are strong enough to take a stand.
How can we apply this to our lives? First we can use this model to have these difficult conversations and confront conflict that is long overdue. We have to ensure that we are grounded in the Word of God and come from the right frame of mind to restore the situation and relationship. It is important to confront our sins and misbehavior of the brothers and sisters around us.
But we can also use this as a framework to support each other by lifting each other up, helping each other see our blind spots and face the brutal facts in our lives. True friends don’t let friends go to hell. Saved people save people. And we are to do all of this in love, with a right mind, and for the purpose of restoring the right behavior and relationship with God. Our aim should not be to punish and condemn.
For God so loved the world, that he confronted us face to face by sending Jesus Christ His Son. Jesus walked in love and compassion. But he did not waver on His principles. Let it be so with us.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this Word today. We give you all the honor and glory in Jesus name. Fill our hearts with your goodness. We long for You Father, and ask that you help our unbelief, and to walk in your Presence. Fill us now with your Holy Spirit. We surrender to You Father. Guide us. Let us hear your voice, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Joshua 7,8; Josh. 7,8; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 5
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – (John 3:16)
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