Dealing with conflicts – following Jesus
Nobody of us is excluded from conflicts. Where people live together conflicts may slumber. When we cooperate in study and work, or among friends and family members all of a sudden a problem can pop up. Somebody neglects you, seems to despise you, hurts you or even abuses you. It stirs up anger and a longing to make him or her pay for it. How do you deal with that? Are you able not to feel abused and victimized? Are you able to refrain from retaliation, and -by the way- is it necessary?
Jesus taught his followers even not to resist evil, not to retaliate, but to love their enemies. What did He mean, how is that possible?
Great people in history have taken Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount to the extreme in advocating for full tolerance and a non-violent approach to all kinds of evil. The Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, the well-known champion for peace Gandhi in India and the Quakers in North America are famous for it.
How is it possible not to cook anger and not to want revenge? To bless those who hurt you and to pray for the ones who persecute you? It seems impossible indeed and completely opposite to common human experience. Does Jesus ask that we surrender ourselves to be treated like a doormat? Let us explore together to what Jesus calls his disciples and why, and how it applies to our day-to-day experience. They should be really different from what is common practice in society because they reflect the kindness of God. Indeed, it is impossible for sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. But what Jesus demands, He also makes possible by His Spirit who wants to renew and restore the image of God in us. The Spirit of Him, who loved enemies till the bitter end, will help us to refrain from retaliation, to forgive and to love those who hurt us. See and hear more in the church service of ICF Delft on Sunday, 4th of February.
Potluck Lunch after the Service
After the service we will have potluck lunch together! Just bring something to eat to share so we will have enough for everyone (doesn’t have to be homemade). Also invite your friends to join us and lets all have fellowship with one another!