My first experience with a GPS was in Spain. Our church’s youth pastor, Trevor, and I went to visit some missionaries in training; and of course we got lost a number of times. Driving through the beautiful mountains in a rental car, a British-sounding voice would announce: “Recalculate.”
The Bible also challenges us to recalculate from time to time. The Book of Acts openly describes the conflicts between Paul, Silas, Barnabas and John Mark, revealing that Christians in ministry occasionally will clash and bicker.
Conflict between Christian leaders is inevitable and painful. Often, conflict is not due to biblical and theological differences, but results from the simple fact that people conflict.
We are wired for relationships. The problem is, we are drawn to some people but repelled by others, often including those Gordon McDonald calls VDP’s (very draining people) and VCP’s (very critical people).
1. Be like Barnabas: Take the high road of encouragement. Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement.” Have you ever said, “I have been encouraged too much today. I cannot take any more. I need some criticism”? Chances are slim.
2. Be Like Jesus: Forgiveness is not optional.
3. Impulse control: You don’t have to say everything you think.
4. God’s view: He allows conflict sometimes for greater good.
5. Agree to disagree: Forward movement is the goal.
Whatever happened to Paul and John Mark’s relationship? In
What relationships are in need of restoration? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you need to get on your face and recalculate before God? Has someone become an irritation to you that your joy is gone? Perhaps the GPS (God’s Prophetic Spirit) is saying loudly: Recalculate.
Dr. David Olshine is the Director of Youth Ministry, Family and Culture at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. David is the author of 19 books, including Studies on the Go: Proverbs; and Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians. He can be reached at DOlshine@ciu.edu.