Sunday Recap 11.30.14 A Nice Normal Family

Sunday Recap 11.30.14 A Nice Normal Family

“Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.”

This Sunday we continued our study of the book of Acts. Luke, the writer of Acts, shares an account of internal conflict between people in the early church. As we read in Acts 6:1-7, the conflict shows us that this church family experienced disconnects just like any other family.

“Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.”

Those are the words printed on a pillow recently purchased by my wife that sits on a chair in our family room. Normally, I am not one who takes much notice of a new pillow purchase, yet this pillow makes me laugh every time I catch a glimpse. because anyone who knows details about my family would say “normal” does not describe us. Besides providing me with some mild entertainment, this pillow has become a conversation starter for people who visit and catch a glimpse of it. Living in the beloved bubble we call the OC, where hiding behind a mask of perfection is the goal of most, our pillow attests to the subliminal message so many strive to portray, “Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.” It sums up our culture’s natural impulse to portray the illusion that we have it all together.

This desire to be as presentable and acceptable as possible, is not simply a societal issue but it has bled into our churches as well. We want our church body to represent a nice normal family. Yet, the reality is that we are all a beautiful broken mess of disfunction trying to figure this Christian life out. It should come as no surprise that when you bring broken people together in one body, conflicts will arise. Story after story, the Bible makes this truth crystal clear.

So when challenges and conflict arise among a broken people, what are we to do? Give up? It’s the choice we all too often make when conflict arises. Yet, conflict, is often the very thing that allows the gospel to do its work in and around us.

Conflict reveals our brokenness. Our natural instinct tells us to hide it and avoid the mess of broken relationships. In contrast, the Bible does not try to white wash the reality of the mess, it actually highlights the brokenness! It doesn’t leave us hopeless about our condition, but rather points to a Father who loves us as we are, to a Savior Jesus as our hope for restoration and to the Holy Spirit who provides us with the spiritual power capable of transforming a mess into a beautiful mosaic.

So instead of of giving up in the midst of conflict we find hope by seeking God’s will for peaceful outcomes. It will get uncomfortable and messy but, that’s His way.

The process that takes us from a life that reacts in our flesh nature, to a life that responds in our spiritual nature IS the lifelong journey of faith and surrender. It’s an intentional choice, a practice, and a dedication that seeks to become more like Christ.

If I was going to redesign the pillow for the home of a Christ follower it would read, “Remember as far as everyone knows, we’re not perfect – but thanks to Jesus, we’re being perfected.”

There’s an old saying that’s rarely heard anymore, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The phrase is supposed to mean, to “become fully engaged.” “When the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge.” Let’s focus on becoming fully engaged to the mission of being transparent and handling conflict as we are taught through the Word and examples found in the early church.

Praying with you and for you,

Pastor Tyson

2 Comments

  1. Great insight. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
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