Altar Call –
Friction or harmony – it’s a choice
was surprised. It was a pleasant surprise. One day I realized that our
congregation was delighted that their pastors and the church staff loved and
enjoyed each other.
had our differences but we worked through them. We valued the idea of working
as a team. We had a choice: friction or harmony. We chose harmony. It was not always
an easy task. We had to work at it. Sometimes we had to struggle through heated
disagreements until we reached a consensus.
are different. That is no accident. God made us this way. He gave us different
gifts. We think differently on many
issues. Conflicts happen. But, bless Pete, if we want to, we can find ways to work
together in harmony.
within a group is always challenging. It can be blessing or burden. We have a
choice. We can fuss and fight or we can put our differences aside and work in
one accord. We can unite in mutual respect or we can divide in friction. We can
work as one or we can work against one another.
discord and division will weaken and destroy a family, an organization and
certainly a church. Jealousy or discord inhibit effectiveness. Harmony produces
growth; discord destroys. Constant friction sucks the life out of any group of people
trying to work as a team. Conflict is sand in the machinery of human
unhealthy desire to receive “credit” or praise can result in disunity. Wise
leaders enjoy helping others receive recognition for the use of their gifts.
Such a spirit is contagious. It frees people to celebrate their differences
rather than struggle with one another for control of everything.
we look to the Bible for help, we find that the Apostle Paul was smart; he was
not a “control freak.” He never reminded people that he was “the Boss.” He did
not claim to be “always right” or insist on having “his way” about everything. Instead
he spoke of being surrendered entirely to Christ. He describes himself as a
slave or servant of Christ.
can learn a lot by studying Paul’s concept of service. For Paul Christ was in
charge. He was the Head of the church. He was the Lord whom Paul served. The
church is Christ’s Body and Christians are parts of his body, “joined and knit
together” to use their separate gifts to promote the growth of his body.
foolish pride causes people to fight like children in the church, the Body
suffers. By competing with one another we become vulnerable to jealousy and
resentment, attitudes that erode unity and create discord. Read the Beatitudes
of Jesus and you do not find one that says, “Blessed are the prima donnas who
think they are better than everyone else.” You do find one that says, “Blessed
are the peacemakers.” No group can survive disagreement without forgiveness and
opens the doorway to harmony. And it builds up the body of Christ. Anyone
trying to serve God will face resistance and rejection from others. But kind
words of encouragement can rejuvenate the spirit and get people back on track.
A pat on the back or a “well done” can bring healing into relationships and
inspire frustrated teammates to return to the front line of service.
more we mature, the more we realize we need others to become a winning team. The
more we graciously admit our need of others, the greater the chance for harmony
and the greater our joy.
choice is really a “no brainer.” Friction will kill you. Harmony will bless
your socks off. So harmony is worth the effort to find it. Always. + + +