Here is a little recap for all those curious about what went on in the youth ministry yesterday. First, the youth took on Chris Reich, Jeff Wagner, and the TeamKID kids in kickball last night. The youth held their own, despite being intimidated and roughed up by Mr. Chris. He came to play and left it all on the gym floor, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The youth went upstairs after all of that fun and then squared off in a noodle gladiator battle. Once again the youth held their own, but Sister Polly took it to them as well. Besides all that fun, here is some recap from Scripture…
Sunday morning small groups looked at James 4:1-2. Our topic again this month is Conflict Resolution. Here are a couple observations.
First, relational conflict is worse than you think. From the verses above we have the view from God when He sees conflict among people. The language from James goes from quarreling and fighting to war and murder. We may think our disputes with others is only a small matter, but God shows us different.
Second, we learned that relational conflict is not only worse than you think, but also simpler than you think. James locates the root of the issue for us and it isn’t the other person, it’s us. My cravings and desires are at the root of the problem. I want and don’t get, so I fight and quarrel. Conflicts don’t create they reveal. Unfortunately these conflicts occur in many different arenas. They occur at home, at school, and even at church. One might say, “they should never take place at church.” Remember James is written to the church. We above all people should realize we still live in a fallen world and sin still has influence.
I drew tons of help in looking at these verses from a message delivered by CJ Mahaney. You can access the message here, but about the 40 minute mark it begins to quit. Still a great resource for 40 minutes.
Some other observations.
#1 These desires we have do not always mean their evil. However, whenever we elevate a good desire to the level of a ruling demand, then it has become an idol of our heart.
#2 Many times these conflicts do not involve biblical teaching, meaning you probably can’t point to biblical teaching to prove this is commanded. I mean, you might try but it won’t be consistent with Scripture as a whole. These are often preferences that we elevate to the throne of our heart.
#3 Many times these conflicts will prevent us, the church, from doing what Jesus commanded us to do. We will be so preoccupied with what I want that Loving God and Loving Others is the farthest from my mind and heart.
Well, there’s the recap. As we continue down this road of conflict resolution, we will soon set our gaze upon the topic of forgiveness. We want to look at this topic from both the perspective of the one asking for forgiveness and the one responding with forgiveness. What does true biblical forgiveness look like? Till then, have a great week!