By: Mrs. Strub
Yesterday, we talked about how the church is a body. We’re all put into the church exactly where Jesus wants us, and we’re all needed.
Think about your body for a second. When one part of your body is hurt, or not working right, it affects your whole body. Think about having a stubbed toe, being sick, or having an eyelash in your eye. When something’s not right, we do everything we can to solve the problem, right? And it’s the same way with people. When something’s not right between you and another person, you need to do everything you can to solve the problem. Jesus tells us how to live together in church, and these principles apply outside of church, too. Today we’re going to learn how to be a PEACE-MAKER.
READ Colossians 3:15
Jesus has made us one body, and he tells us to be at peace with each other.
Why is this important? If you know how to make peace, you will be growing and becoming more like Christ. And your church will be healthy and making a difference in the world.
I really appreciate knowing how to solve problems at church. When I was growing up, my family dealt with problems by ignoring them, but as an adult I’m learning how to solve conflict. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband. He says that if we have a problem in our marriage or our family, we should “put it on the table and deal with it.” And remember, church is like a family. Do you ignore issues with people at church or do you “put the issue on the table and deal with it?”
I saw a meme on Facebook recently that made me feel sad. It pictured an upset-looking woman with the caption “I am too stubborn to forget. You are too proud to apologize.” In this situation, both sides know there’s a problem, but neither side is willing to reach out to make peace. One person refuses to forget, the other refuses to apologize. Nothing’s going to change.
So how does God tell us to solve problems with our church brethren? He says to reach out and deal with the issue, whether you’re the person who got hurt, or you’re the person who hurt somebody else.
READ Matthew 18:15
So if someone hurts you:
1. “go” if you are the victim -- don’t wait for them to come to you.
2. go “privately,” not blasting them on social media. Not gossiping to someone else about it. Face to face conversations are best when working through conflict.
3. “point out the offense” clearly, but gently. You may be surprised to find the other person had no idea they hurt you.
4. “you have won the person back” The purpose of the conversation is to heal your relationship, not hurt them back.
5. if it doesn’t work the first time, you’re not done! In your next conversation, you could bring someone along that the other person respects and will listen to. You might need to have leaders in the church help you. If none of this works, you may have to face the fact that your relationship is broken right now but keep hoping and praying for reconciliation between the two of you.
So if you’re the person that got hurt by someone, God tells you to “go” and talk to them. What if you’re the person who caused the problem? The same advice! God tells you to “go” and talk to them:
READ Matthew 5:23
If we’ve hurt someone, it’s important to go to them right away and make things right.
READ Romans 12:18
The most cooperative, loving, close relationship in the universe exists between God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we aim to be like God! If we obey His instructions about making peace, problems we have with other people have the best chance of being solved. And this kind of peace gets noticed, because the world desperately wants it, but doesn’t know how to get it. I encourage you to be a peace-maker.
Apply what you learned:
1. READ Ephesians 4:26-27
How soon should you work on conflict?
2. READ I Corinthians 13:4-7
This scripture helps us see what love is. What is the OPPOSITE of each of these characteristics?
3. Are you having a problem with someone? Has someone hurt you? Have you hurt someone? Ask God to help you go work on the problem.