Imagine walking on an old creaky wood dock over a bright, beautiful blue ocean. The only sound you can hear is waves crashing. The only smell is the salt of the sea. What if you were walking through a field full of blue iris flowers? Each flower has it’s own vibrant blue color, and the only other living creature around are the insects that live off these flowers. Would you feel at peace in either of these locations? Could you sit down and simply listen for God’s voice?
Blue is a color of tranquility and peace. It’s a color that relaxes people and puts them in a peaceful state of mind. There are times where blue can be a powerful color; however, we associate it mostly with calmness. Today’s sermon discussed how we can have unresolved conflict and how blue is the color mentality we can use to help us resolve those conflicts.
We have conflict happen throughout our entire lives. There is no stopping or controlling what conflicts we will have. Through all our disputes, we have to decide whether we want them to have Godly or ungodly outcomes. An ungodly outcome is something that never resolves itself. Remember that friend you fought with back in seventh grade? Did you work through the issue and become friends again? If not, you have experienced an ungodly outcome. That problem could still exist for the other person and can affect their lives even to this day. We realize that this sounds a little dramatic, but the truth in the example is still there. If we refuse to resolve an issue with someone because we’re too prideful, it becomes an ungodly outcome that can stay with us.
So what does the Bible have to say about this? Well…a lot actually:
So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. ~Matthew 5:23-24
If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. ~Titus 3:10
To obtain Godly outcomes, we have to make sure the air is clear of conflicts between another person and us. It’s vital that we don’t let the issue divide us, but instead, we put it in front and address it directly. How do we do this? Well, we need to pray for the person we have a conflict with and our relationship with them. It doesn’t mean pray with the mentality of making them see your way. It’s about finding the compromise with them. You can also pray for the proper words and how to address the issue. Wisdom is critical when resolving a conflict.
When we pray for wisdom through our conflicts, God will provide the solutions. Imagine that you have $500 and want to buy a guitar. With that $500, would you buy a guitar that’s $5,000? Probably not, however, you would have a strong desire to because that $5,000 guitar is much more beautiful than the $500 guitar. Now think about if you have nine other friends who were willing to bless you with $500 each. You would then have enough money to get the $5,000 guitar and know that God blessed you with wonderful friends who wanted to help you buy this fantastic instrument.
In moments like these, God wants us to seek counsel with Him. He can help us determine what our next actions should be. If He doesn’t want us to have a $5,000 guitar, He will give us counsel to not buy one. The best part is that we have His counsel at all times because the Holy Spirit lives within us.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. ~John 14:26
Never forget that you have access to the Holy Spirit at all times. He is living within us and is ready to give us counsel through all the storms, trials, and conflicts. We need to seek Him and let Him do work on our hearts. Without Him, we’re not good people. There is nothing good inside us, and we tend to make the wrong decisions on a consistent basis. So remember, it’s time to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and let Him work through us. His character is what gives us the ability to love other people.
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. ~Philippians 4:2 (NIV)
The verse above describes exactly the mentality we should have when it comes to Godly character. We need to be of the same mind in the Lord. It makes it easier for us to compromise with others if we let God control our thoughts. Romans 12:2 gives a great picture of renewing our minds:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The renewing of our minds is very important; however, it would be impossible without the Holy Spirit. Humans in nature are not good. They have no piece of goodness in them. It’s only with the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit that we’re able to do good deeds. Our natural response to life is to self promote, self-preserve, and defend our lives. Rather than putting people first, we put ourselves first. We need to pursue God even through conflict. He will help us be gentle and understanding to people who may not be gentle or understanding.
Remember that being vibrant is not always about being bright and powerful. It’s about having balance in our lives, and that includes being gentle, peaceful, and tranquil through the toughest circumstances. There are three things we want to leave you with: