“Finding Strength in Belonging” Stuart Spencer

“One reason that avoiding conflict is such a problem is precisely because it worsens with negligence. It doesn’t just go away. But another reason is that it cuts us off from the most significant opportunities for grace. This is the way God does his deepest work in a world like ours. Not when things are peachy keen, not when all seems right with the world, not when times are easy. It’s the toughest times, the hardest conversations, the most painful relational tensions, when the light of his grace shines brightest, and transforms us most into his Son’s likeness.” David Mathis, Executive Editor DesiringGod.org
SOME YEARS AGO, I offered some counsel to a married couple who were working together on a few issues. While their marriage wasn’t in danger of ending, they were in a difficult place as they faced some conflicts they were having. I had a chance to speak to their marriage therapist. She told me that she hoped this couple could resolve their conflicts not just for the sake of resolution but also because it’s really good for a marriage when a husband and wife can work together on something hard. The bonds of love and fidelity grow stronger through the strain of stress.
I think the same hope holds for church members when we have to navigate through hurt, disappoint and differences of all kinds. The easiest thing to do is to close your Bible and go home. It’s harder to go to the one who is upset. Yet love takes us there. For real love, biblical love, is patient and kind, not easily offended while never giving up. It’s so much easier to write those words than to live them. However, as we turn into the thing we don’t want to do, most times we’ll be surprised how the grace of God is awaiting us. You can be certain that God wants to heal broken relationships far more than you do.
FPC Moorestown: Receive God’s grace to find strength in belonging to one another. Stuart Spencer, Pastor