One of the strongest arguments for the authenticity of the Bible is the fact that God included the not-so-wonderful parts of the story of His people. He didn’t just present His people as perfect, He made sure that we also get to see His men and women preforming at their worst.
There is a great example of this truth in the later part of Acts 15, where we see Paul and Barnabas have such a “sharp disagreement” that they “part company.” Paul didn’t want John Mark to accompany them on their second missionary journey and Barnabas does. Paul essentially says “it’s my way or the highway “ and so they split up.
The great truth from this passage is the fact that it doesn’t have to be just my way or the highway, it can be HIS way.
When we are faced with challenging problems (misunderstandings, sharp disagreements, strains in relationships, stresses at work), His way of solving the problem may include two important personal resolutions: (1) watch your focus and (2) “phone a friend.”
Resolution (1.) WATCH YOUR FOCUS: Determining His way through a conflict requires a concerted focus on truth. It is just way too easy to focus on self when we are faced with a struggle. But when we can turn our full attention onto Jesus and His word, we get light.
In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat faced an impending attack by a vast army. He knew that Israel “had it coming” for some of their lack of faith but He wanted the best for his people. So, in his prayer he declared, “Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
When conflict arises in our lives, we too have to turn to the Lord with full faith. Dive into His word, seek His face, pray for direction and wisdom, and wait for His Spirit to direct our response.
Resolution (2.) PHONE A FRIEND: Everyone needs some good advice when faced with a challenging situation. The Christian life is meant to be lived in community. We need each other’s input and suggestions. We need the counsel that comes from mature believers.
So, before we react in a tough moment, we need to “phone a friend” and seek Godly wisdom from someone who cares about us and our testimony.
Difficult situations are a normal part of life. We just need to remember to turn our focus onto the Lord and involve others in our response. When we do that, we are much more likely to do things HIS WAY!