OVERVIEW: Just as Nathan’s story motivated David to repent, this story by a woman motivates David to allow Absalom to return to Jerusalem. Although he returns, there is no true reconciliation with David; there is only temporary peace.
BIG IDEA: Deal with conflict. Don’t sweep it under the rug.
KEY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 13:11 (The Apostle Paul to the Corinthians)
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Be at peace with me and those around you. Conflict is inevitable. Don’t be surprised by it, but do commit to pursuing a healthy resolution. No one wins when you avoid the person who hurt you. Conflict will not disappear. It won’t go away. It may be minimized or lessened through avoidance, but if you want real peace, address the dispute directly. It won’t be easy, but it will be easier than ignoring or hiding from the other person.
Pull the cover off the problem and address it head-on. Speak the truth in love and work at peace. It will require effort, so don’t be surprised when multiple conversations are needed. Your biggest struggle may be ignoring negative thoughts about the person that enter your mind. Fight those by praying for the person. Ask me to bless the person. Seek me, and I will give you victory. Let my Spirit guide you and provide you with strength.
Before seeking to resolve conflict, determine that you will be patient, persevering, and prayerful. When expressing your thoughts, focus on how you felt by the person’s actions rather than merely being accusatory.