Monday, February 23, 2009

Conflict Resolution

So my husband is a youth minister at a church in Early, TX which may or not be something that you already knew and lately there has been some conflict and strife in the church. I grew up in a church that was full of conflict and strife and I often wondered why anyone from the outside looking in would ever want to be a part of it. What I have come to realize is that they don't. The church spends all sorts of time arguing with each other over ridiculous, let me say it again, ridiculous stuff. So often the church as a whole can be swallowed up by this conflict because so many people are set upon getting their way. It is a constant power struggle. Isn't this a reflection of what goes on in all sorts of relationships in all sorts of organizations? Now I don't think that is any excuse since as Christians we should be set apart, but some resort to saying that it is just going to happen sometimes. It isn't like I am not being realistic and don't agree with the fact that inevitably, because we are by nature selfish, there will be fighting in the church from time to time, but I am disappointed that people's selfish desires that have no biblical foundations find their place in hurting and often tearing our churches apart. We are so lucky to live in a country where we are free to believe whatever we choose. We are also lucky that there are so many Christians around us, especially here in the south. What if we stopped to think about how in other parts of the world just having belief in Jesus is enough for people in other parts of the world because Christianity is so sparse? What if we really started to understand that the church was a gift from God that was meant to be a place for us to find encouragement and passion from one another so that we could be energized to go unto all the world preaching the good news that is Jesus Christ our savior who came to give us the hope of Heaven? We are so selfish, all of us, but we must daily challenge and push ourselves to think about the things we said and believed the day before because God is constantly refining our hearts and minds. Sometimes, we were wrong the day before. The more we read and study His word with the idea in mind that He may have something new to teach us the better servants we will be. And, the more we realize that SERVANT is what we are supposed to be, the more people will come to a knowledge and understanding of Jesus simply by seeing our gracious, humble examples.

I know I usually just talk about my family and stuff, but this is something I have been thinking about a lot and am being challenged daily by God to really live out a life that possesses Christ-like qualities. Man, it is hard. Twice this week my orders got screwed up. I had to go back to Wendy's to get my burger that they left out of my meal. It had been a rough night at our church, but I could feel God urging me to be gracious even though I was frustrated already. So, I just smiled and told them it was no big deal and thanked them for getting it to me so quickly. The next day we were eating out with some friends after church and everyone's order came out except mine. I waited and waited and she never came back. So, once everyone was about halfway finished, I politely told the lady I never received my meal. She, of course, felt horrible, but I did all I could to assure her that it was no big deal. I just got my meal to go, took it home and ate it later.

I do believe there is a time to be confrontational, but when people make obviously honest mistakes, it is not okay for anyone, especially Christians to take on an attitude of entitlement and rudely correct the mistake. That may be the only time we ever encounter that person and what if it is the only opportunity in their life to encounter Jesus' love and humility. It is also the way we should behave in the church when we have differences or are offended. We should just talk to each other out of mutual love and respect. Even if we still disagree about a church issue when the conversation is over, at least we didn't behave in a way that damaged the relationship. Just something I've been thinking about. Sorry so heavy.

Here are some recent pics of my family to lighten the mood.

I know, they are the cutest kids you've ever seen. I know...they are pure joy in my life.

1 comment:

Celice said...

I love the pics! And the ones on facebook from Abby too. They are great!
I agree with you that if we were forced to take Christianity back to the basics, it would be blatantly obvious to see what is important and what essentially just does not matter. But I also like the point you made that we should be refining ourselves daily through scripture and prayer in order to be the best servants we can be.
Amen sister!