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September 17, 2021 6:00 am
Is it just me or does it seem that we can't disagree with people anymore.
Are you frustrated with the lack of open honest communication even among friends and family well. Help is on the way, welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping chips or Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program motivating Christians to live what is your trip just raised is a major problem in our society. Families and friendships are being torn apart societal, so how can we follow the holes 12 all people in this program just teacher Ryan Ingram tackles this subject as he continues his new series, purposeful forward again if you've been encouraged or inspired by this series would you take a moment after this message and shirt with a friend you help us grow the impact of Living on the Edge when you tell others what you learn to ensure this message through the trip and remap or by sending them a free MP3 Living on the Edge here now is Ryan Ingram this message from act. Chapter 50 disagreeing. Well, this is how you and I go about conflict or disagreement will either make or break a purpose full life. It will either make or break and here's the reason why it will either build or it will burn bridges moment. It will either strengthen or sabotage friendships. It will either develop or diminish your own character or influence in his last year I watched close friends who been friends for a long time no longer be friends.
I watched families strain under the struggle of disagreement marriages that are on the brink of collapsing because we do not know how to disagree anymore. Do in fact today. If you the kind of mantra if you will, is if you disagree with me is not true.
You're basically dead to me as I am done with you if you disagree. If we disagree, we can't disagree.
If you disagree in your dad when he hears what we do, we will either we been texting the disagreement only goes to him or they ghost us. We block them on social media we avoid them in person.
We do this in the church world. By the way, especially when you have multiple services. So they go to the first service on the -2nd service or you know what we were disagree and so I'm gonna go to a new church we are losing the ability to disagree well and how we go about it, how we go about disagreement and conflict will either make or break us in a purpose filled life and so how do you navigate how do we navigate disagreements as a follower of Jesus, how he navigated in a healthy, productive God honoring way. Today were going to look at about one of the most famous, if not the most famous disagreements in the New Testament.
I want to take you through just three observations about conflict. After that, and then a biblical framework or lens of how to navigate disagreement well if you got your Bibles would you open up acts chapter 15 verse 36 begins this way sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, let's go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preach the word of the Lord and see how they're doing. They had gone on this you know missionary journey they've gone to Cyprus and the parts of Asia minor. The Galatia area God use them powerfully and they then return reported back in the end, then their spending time in Antioch and just processing impulses. Let's go back would be so great. We we love these people we haven't seen them in for a long time was go back and see how they're doing and here's where the plot thickens Barnabas. One is that John also called Mark with them.
But Paul did not think it wise to take and why because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. They traveled from Antioch to the island of Cyprus. John Mark was with them through this journey and then when they travel to Cyprus up to Pamphylia by then John Mark couldn't handle the intensity and the opposition, and he who deserts them there and goes back to Jerusalem and Barnabas. I mean, his name is son of encouragement. He always sees somebody as you know, God has such good potential and though longs to see their lives be used is he going to come alongside put his arm around you and give you a second chance. Paul Paul is so driven he feels qualities is called to reach the unreached and go to places that are even more hazardous and dangerous and there at this crossroads Barnabas as I want to take John Mark, I want to give them a second chance.
I know he didn't measure up. In that moment, but I believe he has a denim and paused on listen.
Where were headed is going to get even harder. I don't think it's wise I don't listen. I love John Mark he's wonderful but but take him on like introductory missions trip. This is like, you know, Florida. Not the faint of heart. Well, they had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas everybody likes Barnabas. It's hard not to like Barnabas, Paul the apostle who wrote chapter 13 of first Corinthians all about love at such a sharp disagreements that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus.
But Paul chose Silas, a leader and laughed and can committed by the believers to the grace of the Lord.
He went through Syria and Sicilia, strengthening the churches to observations referring to, but dive into about conflict. Here is how Barnabas ends Paul disagree notices how they disagreed expanded their impact, not a been diminish their impact. Notice that Barnabas took John Mark and he went to the island of Cyprus. That's his home town, his home nation there and where John Mark had began the journey with them and Paul then travels up through inland and he takes Silas with the and now there's two teams multiply their impact.
The second thing I want you to notice is how they disagree and how they went about this did not undermine future partnership and relationship. In fact, later on, the apostle Paul would write this in and in his letter to Timothy send John Mark to me, for he is useful to me. You see, later different writings of Paul where he would then speak highly of John Mark and possibly a Barnabas and so how do you navigate disagreement as a follower of Jesus there some things in this text that are important for us. First observation about conflict. Is this conflict is unavoidable conflict is unavoidable. Every relationship no matter how good or godly will experience conflict disagreements listen, Barnabas and Paul got into it were going to get into it if if these two had a sharp dispute there's going to be times where people that you love people that are godly people that you go like mad.
I just never would've imagined you're going to experience conflict is on avoidable.
Secondly, conflict is difficult, isn't it just hard. It's just hard.
This was hard this was difficult. It's hard because it's emotional.
It's hard because it gets personal. Really quick. It's hard because we don't really mean in our day.
We haven't been modeled how to disagree well or how to have conflict well or even given the tools to do it well.
It is just uncomfortable. Isn't it and so we want to avoid it or some of our personalities we go right after it.
It's unavoidable is difficult, and yet it is an opportunity to grow just right next to that Proverbs 2717 as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another conflict, it doesn't mean it always is, but it is an opportunity to grow, just as iron sharpens iron on what happens when you're sharpening iron friction sparks and it is that friction in the sparks that rubs off the rough edges that sharpen and develop secret being that the things that you been avoiding are the or maybe the ghosting or running away from or attacking are the very things God wants to use as an opportunity to grow and to develop you to expand who you are to shape your character and so how do we navigate disagreement well let me just give you four steps a biblical framework for navigating disagreements well. The first is define the problem on your own. Define the problem on your own. Notice not with your best. These not with your small group not as a prayer request you know I really have this issue with coworker and I really shouldn't say it will her name Sally and his salary is just awful. I mean the way she goes about it or my boss or you know that one guy at church.
My gosh she's in EDR is any what was in EDR extra grace required my cash it will just pray for my hearts.
Pray for my responses define the problem on your own, not with the small group not with your best is not on a long social media post that is abstract and says all the things that you're emoting in the moments.
How do we do this first examine your heart and part Jesus would say it this way. Matthew after Stefan before you dare take the speck out of someone else's. I take the log out of yours and let's be honest, we overestimate the clarity of our own thinking about other people's problems and we underestimate the fog of our own issues like there there's a log in our eyes. There's motive issues in my heart. No matter how flat a pancake. There's always two sides to it. And so I might just be playing a part in this. You begin to examine your heart and your part. And here's what I encourage you to do.
Write it down, write it down. We live in our world. We keep the emotions right here and then you begin to write it down and it will as you put pen to paper and begins to give you perspective and you begin to see part of your heart there and you're like okay you know what, that's more emotion.
And that's home feeling, but those aren't the facts. That's not exactly all that's going on there. See, when you examine your own heart, you take time the Holy Spirit would you show me what's going on in me were quick to correct in our culture, but were slow to confess and where would say were going to take time and confess personally second movement thinking about them to pray for them and examine our heart and then isn't it true that the people that you have a disagreement with that. They just keep coming back to your mind and you keep thinking about them and you maybe think about how you gonna win that argument or what you would say if you had the guts to say it, or all those sort of things move from thinking about them to praying for them. Jesus in Matthew chapter 5 says listen bless those who persecute you.
Pray for your enemies. Every time was make a commitment. Every time that person comes to mind when you pray for them who I wonder what would change in our hearts. I wonder what would change in the atmosphere. I wonder what God would want to do if every time they came to her mind, that of moving in to the mental dialogue of all the things we want to say in all the ways they've done XYZ that week turned it's a prayer for them and then give the generous explanation for their behavior. What is the most generous explanation for their behavior similar to write down and examine my heart. I'm gonna move from thinking to praying and instead of jumping to the very worst explanation. I'm going to give them the best explain, here's what I'm gonna do for them. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt that I want them to have given me.
What is the most generous explanation for their behavior. So we have to be careful about the stories were telling ourselves, and we jump to conclusions. We jump to judgments, we jump to motives immediately define the problem on your own. Examine your heart move from thinking to praying give a generous explanation and then finally, if necessary, seek wise counsel Ryan. Why would you say if necessary will because here's what we do in our culture today. Much of our seeking wise counsel is trying to get people on our side trying to get people to agree with us see life from our frame telling people how bad that person is Scripture speaks a ton about seeking wise counsel and is your defining on your own if you find yourself stock you go okay.
Who is someone that loves Jesus that knows God's word that knows both myself and this other individual who can speak into it and give me perspective you know when I try to bring something that's frustrating to my wife. The frustrating part is, instead of her gone like yeah because that's what we all want. We share something frustrating Norse so-and-so you she gives me a maybe there's another reason or have you thought about. I don't want to think about that. I don't want to wrestle with that.
I don't want to give them the benefit of the doubt so define the problem on what own navigating disagreements. Well, first we have to define it on her own. Secondly, then we have to set up a time to talk. Do not put it set up a time to talk. Go directly to the person listening to the first part of landing works message disagreeing well with series purposeful kinship will join us here in the studio with some additional thoughts of application in just a minute.
But what does it really mean to be full of purpose is just being successful at your job making lots of money being a good parent or spouse.
If you're completely lost when it comes to your purpose you're really struggling to find any kind of meaning to your life right now. No matter where you're at.
Finding purpose is one of the toughest challenges we face in this series Brian Ingram shares what it means to live a meaningful life and unpack God's true calling. Stay with us to learn how you can live out your God-given purpose. Even when difficulty hardship and conflict, you're not going to miss a single message.
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Just go to LivingontheEdge.org and if you happen to miss a message. Along the way, you can always catch up on the chipping roadmap. Also, let me encourage you to sign up for the new daily discipleship with chip true spirituality taking part in this free video mentorship opportunity with chip would be a great next step in your faith journey for 17 days triple walk with you through Romans 12 and reveal what it means to really follow after Jesus and the ups and downs of everyday life.
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Ryan, thanks so much for today's message you know you really taught us some really basic biblical steps on conflict resolution and that was super helpful. How do you see this teaching playing out in families and in churches where there such polarity and division mean the fact of the matter is people are arguing over politics or whether to wear a mask or getting a vaccine or not getting a vaccine you're in a really volatile situation as a pastor. How do you help people negotiate these kind of conversations and this is so important in this season.
Isn't that like you said, because of the division because of just how polarized everything has become, you know, there's this great book called crucial conversations and if you haven't read it encourage you to pick it up and read it but one of the lines and there is why is it that when our best is needed were often at our worst and and there isn't that true in these difficult divisive areas where we react out of emotion and anger. You know, and I think for many of us that the reality is, is we need to get back to the basics, you know, a passage in my home that we go back to quite a bit. I have three kids there once almost 1714 and 11 as so it's a girl boy boy and and we still have this conversation from when their little to now in the teenage stage. James 119 through 20 says my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires that I mean we've had this conversation literally this summer around our table with everybody in the house altogether. Hey gang, we gotta be quick to listen, slow to speak right God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Let's use it.
We should listen twice as much, as we speak. But let's think about this quick to listen, remember, in Stephen Covey's famous book, seven habits of highly effective people.
One of his principles was seek to understand before being understood all what would change. Think about this if in our culture if just every Christian did this not asking every single person, but if every Christian. Listen more than we spoke sought to understand before we tried to be understood how that would change the culture and the atmosphere quick to listen and slow to speak, you know, one of the things we talk about in our home when the things we talk about with our church is before you speak, stop and think. Is it true, is it helpful is it kind have I truly listen before you speak before you utter those words bite your tongue literally.
If you have to let the filter of these questions is it true, is it helpful is it kind and have I truly listened before you speak, and then he says, slow to become angry. You know it feels like in our culture today that anger has become the default setting of our society is issues how people responding, whether in social media or driving or you're in the grocery store is just the default setting and dad. I love how you say this, you say that anger is always a secondary emotion and it so we have to ask you know why am I angry what's underneath that that anger is actually the light on the dashboard. That house is there something underneath that needs our attention.
A lot of times it is fear these things, you know, I am anxious or I'm scared. Seek it's really not that complicated but it is difficult and we feel justified, that we should be able to respond and we want other people to be put in Their Pl. in God's word invites us to a different way. Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
We teach our kids this and the truth is you never grow out of needing it yourself. Hey, before we go. Let me remind you of an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast through this program anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that these extended teaching any time you want will for everyone here. This is Dave truly saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge