Long, long overdue in the Church today… the day this sermon was read aloud by Jonathan Edwards, on July 8, 1741 to his congregation in Enfield, Connecticut, it was received with electrifying results, with wails and cries.
Indeed, aren’t we in need of a movement of the Holy Spirit, with words of truth proclaimed so directly that the response would be wails and cries?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10
A person may have heard and assented to the gospel message, but until it brings him to acknowledge his sin, it has not taken root.
(ESV study notes)
Raider’s of the Lost Ark had a great quote in it… “The penitent man shall pass.”
The book of 1 John in the New Testament is a go-to resource for a summary of characteristics of genuine conversion to Christ and the new birth. Check it out!
As my last post discussed, all of us generally respond to conflict in one of three ways: By trying to 1. escape, 2. make peace, or 3. go on the attack.
Today, we’re going to discuss the first tactic: ESCAPE
People tend to use ESCAPE responses when they are more interested in avoiding unpleasant people or situations than in resolving differences. You attempt ESCAPE by:
1. DENIAL – One way to escape from a conflict is to pretend that a problem does not even exist. Another way is to refuse to do what should be done to resolve a conflict properly. These responses bring only temporary relief and usually make matters worse (see 1 Samuel 2:22-25).
2. FLIGHT – Another way to escape from a conflict is to run away. This may take the form of pulling away from a relationship, quitting a job, filing for divorce, or changing churches. Flight may be legitimate in extreme circumstances (see 1 Samuel 19:9-10), but in most cases it only postpones a proper solution to a problem.
3. SUICIDE – When people lose all hope of resolving conflict, they may seek to escape from the situation (or make a desperate cry for help) by attempting to take their own lives (see 1 Samuel 31:4). Suicide is never a right way to deal with conflict.
(Content adapted from “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande).
Most of the time, unless serious danger is threatening you, ESCAPE is an unhealthy response. Re-read these short descriptions and see if any of these are true of you. What do you think? If you’d like to see what a healthy response to conflict looks like, stay tuned…
Everyone reacts to conflict in one of three main ways:
1. Escape – run, Forest, run. 🏃♂️ Or…
2. Make peace – let’s resolve this, I want peace. ✌️Or…
3. Attack – You can’t get away with that! I’m coming for you! 🥊
Within each of these three broad categories are more nuanced reactions, and I will spend the next several posts going through them. Some are healthy are some are not. If you’d like to consider looking at your behavior when it comes to conflict, hang with me for a few days. You may decide you’d like to change.