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Wednesday, November 7, 2018


In his article, "Why Am I Angrier than I Use to Be?" [Leadership Journal (Summer 2000), pg. 79-80]
author and church minister Ed Rowell writes:

"When I was young, a neighboring family came down with a devastating illness. Several of the
children died, and the rest suffered permanent brain damage. What investigators discovered was that
the father had found a truckload of discarded seed corn and fed it to the family hogs. The corn
(not intended for animal feed) had been treated with something so bugs wouldn't eat it before it
germinated. The hogs ate it, seemingly with no ill effects.

But when the family hogs became the family breakfast, the family was poisoned. It seems that many
substances - pesticides and heavy metals like lead and mercury - do not pass through the digestive
system, but remain in the body, always. In tiny doses, the effects are minimal. But over time, the
effects are horrible.

That's what happens to many of us. Every day we ingest minute amounts of conflict and disrespect.
No big deal, we think. Just blow it off. But we don't. Instead it gets buried in our liver and 20
years later, we go ballistic over some kid skateboarding in the parking lot and wonder, 'Where did
that come from?'" *

Conflict. The very word makes us uncomfortable. It isn't pleasant. We'd rather not have to deal
with it.

But it's a reality. We cannot avoid it. We will encounter it. The question is: how are we going
to handle it?

The core of conflict is sin. Sin is the root cause of conflict in the most important relationship
of all: our relationship with God. Sin separates us from God and puts us on the path to destruction
(Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 7:13-14).

But God loves us so much that He took the initiative to reconnect with us. Although He was the
Offended One, He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our - the offenders' - sins. "He
Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for
righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24 NIV).

God will forgive and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will
continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).

Because of sin, each of us is in conflict with God. "For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But God paid the price for our redemption through the death of His Son
on the cross (Ephesians 1:7). Through Jesus, we can be reconciled to God, even though we don't
deserve it. Through Christ, the conflict is resolved.

We also learn from Christ how to resolve conflict with others. He teaches us that it will require
much love (John 3:16), taking the initiative (Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15), and extending forgiveness
(Ephesians 4:32).

Won't YOU accept God's offer of salvation and eternal life so that you aren't separated from Him
anymore? Won't YOU share the conflict-ending ways of Christ with others?

-- David A. Sargent

* From, More Perfect Illustrations, [Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers,
2003], pg. 20

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