Why We Collide
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: John 13:34–13:35, John 5:9, Romans 5:1, Romans 14:19, Ephesians 4:3, Hebrews 12:14, James 4:1–4:2, Romans 12:2, Romans 12:18
Why We Collide
The first of eight messages in a series about how we can navigate the relational conflicts we face in life
Our Mission and Why This Series Matters
Our mission at Hopevale is this: We are a community of grace and truth inviting people to know and follow Jesus. This is "who we are" and "what we do." It's a calling we're meant to live out not just for one hour on a Sunday, but all 168 hours of our week. That includes how we navigate relational conflict. So if we celebrate our new life in Christ but handle conflict poorly where we still hold grudges, nurse wounds, keep score, and plot revenge against people who’ve wronged us, then we undermine the credibility of our message. It creates a distance between the profession of our faith and the practice of faith that eventually leads to hypocrisy. That's why we need to talk about conflict resolution in a way that's both highly biblical and intensely practical.
John 13:34-35 NIV
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Matthew 5:9 NIV
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
The Goal is Peace
Jesus tells us as His followers that the fruit of a life forever-changed by His Gospel is one of bringing peace to the conflicted relational situations in our lives. Now peace isn't an easy goal, nor is it an inevitable outcome in every single circumstance. Still it’s the one we’re shooting for and to make it anything less is just watering down the words of Jesus.
Relational peace is more than just the elimination of tension and the absence of conflict; it’s also the presence of health.
Genuine peace is more than the watered-down version that says, “As long as no one’s mad at me, things are good.” “As long as I’m not upset, or as long as I don’t really think about it anymore and can sleep at night, there’s nothing left for me to do.” Peace (or "shalom" in the Hebrew Old Testament) carries the idea of wholeness, wellness, oneness, health, flourishing, where everything’s right with the world. This kind of peace is the nature of our salvation in Christ where God has not just forgiven our sins and removed His righteous wrath from us, but He’s also reconciled our broken relationship with Him (Romans 5:1).
Romans 5:1 NIV
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 14:19 NIV
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Ephesians 4:3 NIV
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Hebrews 12:14 NIV
14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Three Obstacles to Peace
1. Human Nature
this me-first orientation of sin within us that prefers our own interests over the will of God and the needs of others
2. Spiritual Opposition
the influence of Satan & his demons that seek to sow seeds of discord, doubt, and suspicion between people
3. Cultural Pressure
The Bible talks about a world system--these unseen forces that work to undermine God's priorities, often creating an "us" versus "them" mindset that leads to outrage and division.
James 4:1-2 NIV
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Overcoming the Obstacles
Human nature. Spiritual opposition. Cultural pressure. These are the obstacles that we have to overcome in our pursuit of peace. Thankfully, we’re not alone in that pursuit. The Holy Spirit gives us a supernatural strength and desire to stand up to these forces and to make progress in our pursuit of peacemaking with others.
Romans 12:18 NIV
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
The Challenge: "As far as it depends on you"
"Live at peace with everyone" is the goal. Now while that's not always possible because we can't control what others think, feel, say, and do, we still have a choice (by the grace of God) to do as much as we can to passionately pursue peace with others.