June 24 - Thriving in Conflict

By Mark Flattery

Today's Scripture: Acts 15:36-41

Central Thought: We can honor God in our conflicts.

    Disagreements in life are inevitable, even among Christians. It is surprising that when the crisis hits, many believers will see their old natures surface instead of responding with the fruit of the Spirit.

    Paul and Barnabas were respected men of God who ministered together in Antioch. They had a strong relationship and had seen God work mightily in their lives. Yet, when it came time to depart on another missionary journey, they were in a conflict over who should accompany them. In fact, it was such a 'sharp disagreement” that they each took another believer and parted ways. Even though Paul disagreed with Barnabas, his mentor, he left with the blessing of the church at Antioch.

    Honest men can disagree honestly and still glorify God. God used Barnabas and John Mark as well as Paul and Silas to accomplish His will. The separation did not lead to
name-calling, feelings of inferiority, or ill will. In fact, both groups thrived and rejoiced when they heard the news of how God blessed the other team.

    Remember to respond to your conflicts in a manner that glorifies God. Honestly assess your motives and responses to ensure that you are aligned with God's Word. Pray God's blessing for those who disagree with you. Christians can thrive even in conflict.

Devotional Prayer: Dear Lord, help to be righteous in the middle of conflict and to respond in a manner that glorifies You.

Today's Bible Reading: II Kings 6:1-7:20; Acts 15:36-16:15; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 17:24-25.