Conflicts without arise from unanswered questions within.
Drill down on the reasons for fighting and quarreling and you will find people trying to secure something they aren’t sure they have. They are asking questions like, Am I respected? Do I have what I need? Am I safe? Does anyone care about me?
When these questions are unanswered, people set out on a course to find the answers, usually in relation to others. But this is a collision course because others are doing the same thing. When everyone is trying to get from each other, no one is serving, and the result is conflict.
Now, think about what it would be like to have life’s basic questions answered in a way that is good. Take the questions at the end of Romans 8 for example.
If God is for us, who can be against us? The question is rhetorical and the point is that our enemies can’t do us ultimate harm because God is on our side. How do we know? Christ died for us to reconcile us to him. Now we can pray for our enemies.
Since God gave Christ to die for our sins, is there anything we really need that he will not give us? Again, the answer is implied. God will give us everything we need to know, love, and enjoy him because all of these spiritual blessings come with Christ. Now, we don’t have to be a drain on others. We can actually be givers of blessing to them.
God justifies us by faith, so can the accusations of others lead to condemnation? Christ already died for our sins, then he rose from the dead and now he intercedes for us. We can stand in confidence before our accusers and judges without retaliating with more venom.
Can anything separate us from the love of God? The list of possible wedges between us and the love of God is long, but in the end, none of them is strong enough to do any real damage. God has loved us in the death of Christ, so his love endures forever. His love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Full of love, we love God and our neighbor.
When the questions are answered in Christ, and the issues of the heart are increasingly settled by a long look at the cross, the conflicts that come from seeking to secure them from others subside.
This is just one more way being a Christian impacts the way we live.
I hope you will meditate on Romans 8 this weekend, and pray for Grace Community Church as we transition from the Chapel to the Worship Hall next Sunday.