I walk in the door to church. One lady is just looking outside and makes an innocuous comment about somebody else having left. My heart immediately sinks. I want to turn around and go home before even starting to help. I know there is a conflict going on and I have a very good idea of what it is.
Conflict! Conflict is inevitable. Everybody is unique with their own thoughts and ideas. When opposite ideas collide, conflict happens. That is what happened at church today. Two different ideas of how to cook the meat for the dinner tomorrow. Workers for Christ focusing on the unimportant, whose way to cook it is better, rather than the important, working together to raise money for missions.
I stayed, quickly determined what the problem was, and got down to work. Putting the tablecloths out, setting up the table with the offering basket, opening can after can of beans, all the while feeling the underlying tension. I am sad that two ladies, who both love the Lord and want to work for his Kingdom, are at odds.
Then it is determined that a meeting of all who are working should be held to decide with a vote how to cook the meat. 8 ladies convene, 2 immediately start to state their case. I raise my hand and state that I have something to say. I tell them that before any more discussion occurs, we need to pray. So we pray with thanksgiving that God has allowed us this opportunity to work to raise money for the mission of furthering the Kingdom of God. And, we pray that we will be given clear heads and be able to make good decisions.
When we finish praying the atmosphere has relaxed. We are able to calmly and rationally discuss the issue at hand. A compromise is struck.
It is hard to believe that something as mundane as how to cook meat can cause such dissension. 1 Peter says that Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I saw an example of that today. Two beautiful, smart, Christian ladies, with two different ideas and no desire to compromise. But, after praying and asking God’s guidance, they were able to continue to work together. Only by the grace of God is this possible.