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Fixing Conflict and Making Peace

I took an old fan to a repair shop this week. The bearings were worn out and the fan had too much friction to work properly. All moving things create friction. Friction creates heat and robs power.

Heat burns up wiring, motors and other important stuff. Therefore, minimizing friction is a VERY important part of engineering. And also a very important part of life! Take note of a really good friction-solution.

(Acts 6:1-5) "Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying,

there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. {2} Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "lt is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. {3} "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; {5} And the saying pleased the whole multitude ..."

  • 1st the problem became known. No problem can be solved until it is identified. Jesus said the one who has been wronged must make the first move (Mat. 18:15).

  • 2nd, the apostles listened. Listending is both a skill and an art. To really explore the essence of a problem is challenging. Many people begin to formulate a response or a defense too quickly and may fail to completely grasp the real problem.

  • 3rd, a solution was proposed. Almost all genuine conflicts between private parties can be fixed if everyone wants to. Sometimes pride prevents a solution. Sometimes old wounds and grudges are too much for people to lay aside. But remember that even the old prejudice and hatred between Jews and Gentiles was bridged by the gospel.

  • 4th, the people agreed to the solution and the problem was solved. Jesus said when conflicts are solved, "you have gained your brother." David said, (Ps 133:1) "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Marriages, families, businesses, friends, churches and all other groups experience friction. Conflict resolution is a fancy name for solving problems that come up. Bearings, grease and fans are all mechanical ways we use to make peace. Without peace things burn up and break. "Have peace with one another," (Mk. 9:50), "... pursue the things which make for peace..." (Rom. 14:19). "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men," (Rom. 12:18).

- Tim Orbison


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