I have a friend named Jack. He is an “average Joe” kind of guy who loves Jesus, his family, his church, and those he works with. Jack is a good guy. You would like him, I’m sure.
On Monday, Jack woke up late. He hates oversleeping and needed to pick up his pace to get to work on time. Of course, nothing goes well when you are running late. He quickly downed a hasty breakfast with his children. When one of them spilled some milk, Jack yelled at him and huffed as he grabbed paper towels for a quick (and inadequate) clean-up. Then, Jack couldn’t find the keys. When he finally found them in his wife’s purse, he yelled again: “I told you to hang the keys on the rack! When are you going to learn?!”
Jack stormed out of the house and slammed the door, leaving an awkward silence in his wake as his wife and children attempted to recover from the event. Jack was ten minutes late to work. And he never seemed to recover from that morning’s startup events. He was irritable with coworkers, and his body language told those around him to just stay away. Suzie, whose cubicle was just a few spaces down, asked if he was okay. Jack’s reply was a short and gruff, “I’m fine,” never even giving Suzie the benefit of eye contact. Suzie went back to her work.
The workday finally came to a close, and Jack started his drive home. As he reviewed his day, he realized he had been a jerk to everyone he came in contact with. Further, he realized that kind of attitude was more common than he would like to admit. He wondered how to make it up to his family when he walked into the front door. He wasn’t sure. He knew what he had done was unloving, but humility didn’t come easily to him.
Jack could be any one of us. We are sinners, after all. We are redeemed sinners, but we still sin on a regular basis. When sinners come in contact with other sinners, even those we love the most, conflict abounds. It is a reality in life. We say harsh and harmful things to one another.
Parents struggle to communicate with their children and children with their parents. Neighbors and co-workers hold grudges. Extended families struggle to work through communication barriers. Spouses can completely miss the mark in healthy communication with one another. Care Groups can be filled with awkward tension instead of safety. In every relationship and relational circle, we need help with communicating God’s way. Thankfully, he has shown us in his Word how to pursue just that.
Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (CSB). It is God’s will that we grow in this area and always seek to be active in pursuing peace together. And the reality is that God is eager to help us toward that end at every opportunity.
As an elder team, we too have seen the need to grow in how we communicate with one another and with those in our church family. To that end, we have sought out help from Paul Cornwell of Crossroads Resolution Group. Paul has spent significant time with us individually and as a team. We are so grateful for his ministry to us and are excited for Paul to lead our whole church family through some of these principles in biblical communication.
Please be sure to join us on November 18 for the Pursuing Peace Together seminar. Paul Cornwell will lead us in our Connection Hour (9:15) and corporate gathering (10:30) that morning. Afterward, you can join us for a catered lunch at noon followed by a seminar with Paul that afternoon (12:30-4:00). Childcare is available. Please register online, or call the church office at 765-448-1620 if you have any questions.
We won’t solve all of our relational hardships on November 18, but I look forward to taking a significant step forward in being equipped to live at peace with everyone. No matter what, we want to be a church family that is committed to pursuing peace together.