1 Kings 12:7 “If you are willing to serve the people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
Although many people do get in conflict more than they want, few people love conflict. The truth is, if anyone loves conflict, there is something wrong. Peace, harmony, and unity should be the desire of anyone’s heart. The promotion of love, kindness, and preferring one another is what we are exhorted by God’s word to walk out. Peace, harmony, and unity are also something more than just a nice thing to pursue. It’s within our inward God created make-up to desire these things.
God’s Word helps us to see this truth more clearly. Psalms 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Eph 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” And Psalm 37:37 says, “Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace.” Jesus left us with these words; “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
God created us to live this way and though the world seems anything but peaceful, it is God’s will for our lives. Before Adam’s sin which spread to all mankind, peace, harmony, and unity was the way of life. It will also be the way of Heaven.
Obviously Satan is the author of strife and division and all things evil that steal mankind’s peace. God will one day completely stop him from tormenting mankind as Romans 16:20 reveals to us. “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
In a perfect world peace, harmony, and unity would be a part of our ongoing existence. (And of course that would do away with all television news broadcasts, hallelujah!) But we are still in this defiled world where selfishness and sin runs rampant.
Today I want to present to you a simple truth leading to more peace in your life. If you would first incorporate it within the belief system of your heart, and then begin to practice it in your life, you would see more peace in your daily dealings. The reason being is that it is a principle of God motivated by love and a desire for peace.
It comes from wisdom revealed in 1 Kings. King Solomon had died. His kingdom had experienced 40 years of peace that may have been the longest and most peaceful reign of any king ever. His son Rehoboam had begun to take over. He wanted advice about making a change in how the kingdom was run. The people wanted to know what kind of a king he was going to be. They were tired. King Solomon had taxed the people heavily and worked the people hard.
King Rehoboam went to his young advisors (young men his age that he had grown up with him that had little to no experience but were promoted like he was to this new position,) and to his older advisors that had served under his father for all those years.
1 Kings 12:9-11 “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?” The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist—if you think he was hard on you, just wait and see what I’ll be like! Yes, my father was harsh on you, but I’ll be even harsher! My father used whips on you, but I’ll use scorpions!’ “
This was cruel and uncompassionate advice from novices that were cocky and egotistical just gloating in their new power.
The older advisors gave Rehoboam contrary advice – today’s Fresh Manna verse. “The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to serve the people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.” 1 Kings 12:7
This is not the advice that Rehoboam took but it is the advice that would have won the people and the kingdom. He refused it and listened to his young advisors. His kingdom soon failed.
Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” It’s more than just the gentle answer that yields these results. It’s the gentle answer not as a manipulative tactic but the response from a sincerely caring heart that desires unity and peace for all.
Today’s Fresh Manna verse reveals a truth we should go to school on. Some people love to argue. Others just like to win conflict. Frankly, both of those people are foolish.
If you will be a person that truly wants to serve and help people – then when conflict arises, give a reasonable and gentle answer that takes into consideration what the other person is trying to get across. If you will be considerate of their position and give concession and work with them where you can – you will not only turn away wrath, you will have people that are more loyal and willing to work with you – a place of peace and harmony.
“A heart to serve and a favorable answer…” – one that takes in the interests and concerns of others, brings more peace and harmony.
We may live in a world in turmoil, but Jesus said, “My peace I leave with you – not as the world gives…” Having “…a heart to serve and a favorable answer…” is a path to peace and harmony!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt http://www.freshmanna.org/
Published by Pastor Tim BurtCopyright©