Monday, January 03, 2011

Why So Much Conflict?

A few thoughts before I go to bed.

I read an email message today that I regularly receive from a wise man. It sparked some thoughts about conflict. Read the statement from Graced Again by Tom Wood, Church Multiplication Ministries, a non-profit, whose mission is starting, strengthening, multiplying grace-centered churches through consults and coaching church planting pastors, leaders and emerging leaders.

Then read my thoughts and see what you think.

“A special faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’s person, work and office is the life, heart and mainspring of the Christian character. He sees by faith and unseen Saviour, who loved him, gave Himself for him, paid his debts for him, bore his sins, carried his transgressions, rose again for him, and appears in heaven for him as his Advocate at the right hand of God.

He sees Jesus and clings to Him…..He sees his own many sins, his weak heart, a tempting world, a busy devil; and if he looked only at them, he might well despair. But he sees also a mighty Saviour, an interceding Saviour, a sympathizing Saviour—His blood…..His righteousness, His everlasting priesthood—and he believes that all this is his own.

He sees Jesus and casts his whole weight on Him. Seeing Him, he cheerfully fights on, with a full confidence that he will prove more than conqueror through Him that loved him…Habitual lively faith in Christ’s presence and readiness to help is the secret of the Christian fighting success fully.”

by J C Ryle, Holiness

Why did I write what I did as a result of this powerful statement?

We are all deeply broken, deeply flawed and blind to our sinful natures. Sin is not just "skin deep" but bone deep. Our flaws seep out of every pore and every possible action step we take including our thoughts.

To make matters worse, we actually think we can live without sin and expect others to be sinless. If they don't we grow angry, attacking and judgmental. The slightest mistakes, errors, sin or misstatement by others allows us to think we are superior and unleashes a deeply felt desire to crush our former friend, spouse or child. We attack because the weak, sinful and error prone person deserves our wrath and so we unleash our shame, guilt and punishment on him or her without mercy and certainly without grace.

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