9-19-2019 – e-News

During my first youth pastor experience, when I was 19 years old and serving in Montana, I made a decision that a single father didn’t like. He expressed his concern to me; we talked about it for a while and listened to each other’s point of view. After hearing what he had to say, I still felt the decision I made was the best one. This father didn’t. So, we agreed to disagree. No problem. No sin. This is normal and common.
That is, until I noticed that he’d stopped talking to me. Soon I noticed that he was actually avoiding me. Then I noticed he would leave church a little early just so we wouldn’t have to talk. My suspicions were confirmed when his two sons asked me to speak with their dad because he was talking about leaving the church. These two sons didn’t want to leave the church.
So we spoke to each other again, not about the youth decision (that wasn’t actually the problem) but about the break in fellowship between us. We got everything out in the open and dealt with the issue. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t comfortable, and I didn’t like it. What I did like was that we actually became better friends after that, and a couple of years later, he served as one of my groomsmen for my wedding. In other words, we worked out our relational conflict.
These types of common problems with other people, these attitudes of “I’m not speaking to him,” “I’m going to avoid her,” or “I’m leaving the church because of them” do not honor God. In fact, I’ve noticed that these attitudes are often an illness that eats away at us. If we do end up leaving a local church body for another one, we just take the disease with us.
These attitudes and problems with other people can cripple our walk with God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:23–24:
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Jesus wants us to take very seriously our issues with other people and work them out. Are you willing?
Pastor Kenneth
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