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Connect the Testaments

June 12: Conflict Creators and Peacemakers
2 Chronicles 29:1–30:27; 1 John 2:7–14; Psalm 104:1–15
Conflict can be good. And in communities, it’s inevitable. The ways in which we respond to it can display and develop character. But what if we are the ones responsible for creating conflict with others?
John addresses the root of chronic conflict in a letter to a church community. He tells them, “The one who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9–11).
John was giving the church a way in which they could judge false teachers who created conflict and division. Those who were not walking in the light—who hated their brothers—were known by their contentious nature. Conversely, those who walked in light did not serve as a stumbling block for others. The light they dwelled in was shown in their love for other Christians.
Love for other Christ-followers is not optional—it’s an outpouring of the love that God shows to us. The nature of our interpersonal relationships is a reflection of where we stand with Him. External conflict that has hatred at its root might point to our own internal conflict—one that can be defined by a disagreement between what we confess and how we live (1 John 1:6).
What is causing conflicts in your relationships? If you are the one causing conflict, how can you seek peace—with God and others?
Rebecca Van Noord


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

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