The book of James is a practical book, and the question it asks and answers is … If you really believe the basic message of Jesus, the gospel of Jesus Christ, what kind of life will that create on the ground? What will it look like practically? Each passage we've looked at has been asking what kind of church community is created among those of us who believe the gospel.
This Sunday, we'll be continuing our series on The Book of James, entitled "We Walk in Wisdom." And this week we'll be looking at James 4:1-12 on the "Wisdom for Conflict." Now, this doesn't mean how to have conflict, as most of us need no help with that, but rather, how do we handle it when conflict comes, as it inevitably will. But even more importantly, this passage is addressing how conflict affects us as a church, and how should we handle it as a church. And that's a lot more difficult.
It's one issue if I say something hurtful to you ... the Bible teaches that you and I have to work it out, or reconcile. But what if I say something that hurts ten people in the church, but ten other people think it was actually quite helpful. What do you do then? What do you do when you're discouraging some people, while encouraging others, all at the same time? And this is not a hypothetical situation ... I've actually done this (more than once). How do you make peace in that kind of situation? Well, that's what we're going to be looking at this Sunday -- dealing with conflict in the context of community. Should be interesting. See you there, Dr. Dave