Hello, I am Pastor Gerald Malkus from Jehoash Presbyterian Church in Catlett, VA, and I am your Pastor for this Day.
It’s Hot! How hot is it?
It is so hot that it seems like every little annoyance in life can turn into a huge conflict.
Since the Bible teaches that everything that happens is directed by the good providence of God, then even those minor or major conflicts with other people are given to us to glorify God, and to grow to be more like Jesus.
There are very simple ways to do that every day.
Jesus indicates that when a conflict arises there is usually some way in which we have offended another person. So, he says,
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:41-42
In their wonderful book and instruction on being Christlike peacemakers, Ken and Corlette Sande give the first step in responding to our conflicts in the form of the 5 A’s of Confession-
So, let me give you 5 A’s you could use today to get you started in resolving some conflict you might be involved in at home, at the office, with a family member, or at church.
#1. ADMIT Admit what you have done wrong. When we begin by taking responsibility for our own sinful choices of words or actions we take the first step.
Of course, you and I both know that no matter what I did, what she did is far worse- right! But look at Luke 6 again and you will see that no matter what is involved, from God’s perspective it is usually a log in your eye, while it is only a speck in hers.
So, we begin by saying these words, I admit that I was wrong when I. . .
#2 Apologize. Express your own sorrow for how your choices affected another person
It is easy to say, I am sorry.- But am I sorry we got caught, sorry for the loud angry word, or am I sorry that what I did offended God, then the other person.
Practice words- Do you need them? I am sorry for . . .
#3 Accept– Gladly accept the consequences that come because of your own choices without arguing, blaming or excusing.
Bad choices of attitude, of words, or of action always bring bad consequences: I have to learn that I might not get my own way, or I might have to go without something because of my actions.
Practice words?: I understand why it is that I now need to . . .
#4 Ask Forgiveness: Obviously we ask forgiveness first from God, for our sin is against him most importantly, but I also need to go to that person I sinned against and seek out their forgiveness.
Asking forgiveness comes after Admitting, Apologizing and Accepting consequences, because showing those first might make it easier for the person to forgive you. It shows a real desire you have to make things right and restore your relationship with that person.
Finally A # 5 Alter your Behavior
Make the decision to change your pattern of choices and behavior.
Actually all of these, especially including the last A- make up what the Bible calls repentance.
When I have acted sinfully, I need to repent of that sin and begin to live a new way by God’s grace and power.
But, often before I can begin to act that new way I have to determine exactly what new way I should choose.
So- Practice words: With God’s help, next time I will . . . instead of . . .
You can be a Peacemaker today. Try some of the practice words with someone you know today.
I am Pastor Gerald Malkus from Jehoash Presbyterian Church in Catlett, and I am your Pastor for the Day