“Conflict? – Be Encouraged”

We often experience hits in our walk with the Lord.  At times it seems like the more we try to live for God, the more we are bombarded by daily trials and temptations to stray and go our own way.  More times than not, when we venture, and go our own way we tend to go farther than we ever intended to go.  Have you ever heard the grass is greener on the other side?  For the most part, this statement is not true.  I can think of Lot in the bible.  Abraham is Lots brother and they were in the cattle business together.  They both were so blessed with cattle; they had a problem with the two herds and their herdsman.  Conflict arose in the camp, so the two brothers parted ways.  The two divided the land.  Abraham offered to Lot, if you take the land to the left, then I will go to the right, and if you choose right, then I will go to the left.  Lot saw the most beautiful spot of land, that was well watered and looked a lot like a garden of the Lord, the Bible tells us.  Lot packs up and went to the green beautiful spot of land that perhaps offered more of the necessities needed to farm, than the land he left his brother.  Only one problem.  He set up camp toward Sodom.  The green grass had its lure, but it wasn’t greener.  It turned out to be the worst decision of Lots life.

Genesis 13: 1-13  So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold .From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord  .Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time  .So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.  ”10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)   11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:   12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. (NIV)

Application: Whenever conflict raises its ugly head, don’t lash out in despair and say something you really don’t mean.  It’s easy when you work with brothers and sisters, at the fire station 1/3 the year, to have disagreements, and conflict.  When we are experiencing offenses or conflicts, step back take a deep breath, go outside and cool off, before responding irrationally.  Silence is golden, when you’ve been offended.  Our flesh tends to lash out, and we say things we don’t really intend to say.  The spirit man, the part that God controls, fights to overcome our flesh that lashes out.  It’s very important to stay in God’s word and allow our Spirit man to be built up, so when the temptation arises to lash out, we will think twice.  We may think, the greener grass, is for me to speak my mind.  But could it be that God wants us to step back and “be swift to hear and slow to speak – James 1:19” before speaking.  Abraham could have allowed the conflict between his herdsman and Lots herdsman to come between them.  He could have started a family feud with his brother but instead he wanted to bring a solution to the tensions between their workers.  Abraham gave his brother the choice of land.  A very humble and generous way to handle the conflict.  Abraham took the high road and made the best of it.  When conflict raises its ugly head, take the high road, be encouraged and listen to the spirit man within.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

James 1:19&20 My dear brothers and sister, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (20)Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Have a good week.

 

 

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