The Jewish and gentile believers were living in Rome in a faith community. And out of their different customs and beliefs a conflict arose. The gentile dietary laws were not as restrictive as the Jewish culture. Because of this, Apostle Paul is required to help bring clarity. This issue was not a doctrinal one, but rather a cultural one.
Culture is simply the sum total of our values and experiences.
What’s interesting is Paul’s culture was one that strictly adhered to the law. But it was Christ’s demonstration of the Law of Grace that changed Paul. That is, we should accept each other as Christ accepts us all.
“Oftentimes, we can so embrace our culture that it can become the major influence in our lives.” – Pastor Kelvin Ford
There are 5 major institutions that affect our culture:
“If we take note of what’s going in, we can take note of what’s going out.” – Pastor Kelvin Ford
7 Truths Of Conflict
- Conflict is inevitable
- We need to develop relational skills to navigate conflict in a healthy way
- Healthy conflict provides opportunities for growth and intimacy
- Unresolved conflict interferes with growth and satisfying relationships
- Conflict isn’t good or bad (right or wrong); it’s all in our response
- Constructive conflict involves a commitment to encourage and support one another
- Constructive conflict involves a commitment to stop, look, and listen and then maybe speak.
How Should We Handle Conflict?
We must handle conflict in a way that is pleasing to God. In order to please God, we must do it His way.
- Take the Focus off of Ourselves (Romans 15:1) – When we take conflict personally, we embrace emotions that will cloud our judgement. If we take the focus off of ourselves, where should we direct the focus? To Christ! He is the lifeblood of our faith!
- Stay Committed in Serving One Another for the Greater Good – If you are saying that Jesus is Lord, then we can work through these issues.
- Stay in the Scriptures for Comfort and Encouragement – We must look to the scriptures to see what He says on the issue. This might take some time of prayer, so we must draw our encouragement from the scriptures.
- Recognize God Has Called Us into One Body – Our differences shouldn’t separate us, but rather make us stronger.