I know that I have told y’all about Professor Horner’s Bible Reading plan but some days I just can’t get over how it all relates. How the whole Bible just fits together. Some days the themes are so strong I can’t help but listen and dig further. These last few days I have been in Job and wanting to just bob his friends on the head. I mean seriously – be nice. I think we could all learn something from his friends – we can be right and be oh so wrong at the same time. Job’s friends said things about God that were true, right, honest – yet they went about it all the wrong way. My dad says they had their theological guns blazing. They were ready to blast Job with truth. Yet, in the end of Job, who was on the hot seat – Job’s friends. God called them out and Job was the one who had to stand in the gap for them. OUCH.
If I could think of only one problem that if we as a church body need to learn how to handle: each other!
There is conflict everywhere – we see it all the time. How do we fix it. Only God can and He has told us how. The scriptures I have been reading are so clear yet so hard to follow. Why?
Read the variety of verses that I have read in my bible reading lately:
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (NIV).
The word “restore” is a very common word in the New Testament (Gk. katartizo). It simply means “to repair something in the sense of bringing it back to its former condition.” It is often thought of like a broken bone – you set the bone back in place.
Remember, our goal is not the winning of a case but the winning of a brother.
James 1:20 “for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
2 Corinthians 2:5-11 “5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Paul ends this perfectly – “in order that Satan might not outwit us” – Paul knows something we must all know and follow. The way we treat each other is a direct correlation with our relationship with the Lord. His church is supposed to show the world what the relationship between God and Jesus looks like.
How are you doing? How are you treating those around you? How about those you are in conflict with? Are you handling it the way God has clearly showed us? Ouch. Again.
UPDATE: Been sitting here thinking – Has anyone read “Friendship For Grown-Ups” by Lisa Whelchel? Wonder if that would be a good resource?
|Friendship for Grown-Ups|
|Friendship for Grown-Ups|