Will you keep it from finger pointing? Will you keep it from blame? Will you keep it from personal attacks? Will you work together towards finding a solution? Will you allow the strengths and viewpoints of others produce a better final solution? Will you humble yourself and allow others to have a say? Will you allow your own motives to reveals others? Do you realize the importance of it? Do you realize the purpose of it? Do you realize the outcome that will come of it? I can remember going to an incredible leadership conference where the word and them was SOLUTIONARY which combined solutions and revolutionary…Revolutionary Solutions = SOLUTIONARY!
Today’s reading starts with the following…
1Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
–from Acts 6
Consider the problem that is coming before you! Consider the fact that you may not have all the knowledge! Consider that others may have another perspective to be considered! Consider that you may not have enough wisdom to get this done by yourself! Consider that your motives and others motives may not be completely pure! Now consider what SOLUTIONARY idea you might be able to come up with if you all come together and work together to come up with a solution!
Are you willing to go against the flow to do the right thing? Are you willing to give it up to God and allow His Spirit to get you to do something that hasn’t been done before? Will you trust God enough to step up and be and do everything God asks of you? Will you be the agent of change? Will you be the one who is the catalyst for change? Will you be the one that shows others God’s perspective, purpose, and call? Will you be the one who points people to the answer? The answer that will change lives for ever! Jesus! Will you let Jesus shine in and through you in a way that more SOLUTIONARY outcomes can take place? Will you let Jesus control what you do and say rather than the peer pressures of man? Will you make a difference?
Today’s reading continues and speaks the following…
2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, 3“You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
–from Acts 11
Are you willing to think outside the box? What if it isn’t normal? What if it isn’t expected? What if it isn’t how it has been? What if it’s different? What if …? If God moves do you think you could stop it? If God calls then He will provide! God is the answer and can quiet the argument! Ask the Holy Spirit to step into every meeting! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you words of wisdom! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the moment! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you ears to hear beyond the words! And then Ask the Holy Spirit what He wants you to do and then go make a difference that will change the world forever!
Both of today’s readings speak to things that were bigger than anyone could do on their own! Both stories show the power of the Holy Spirit to direct our paths! Both stories show that obedience can make a difference!
Where are you at today? What is going to show up? How will you answer the call?
Today’s devotional (Conflict At Work day 6) is based off these two readings too. Consider how it speaks of becoming SOLUTIONARY…
Coming to a Solution
Some workplace conflict stems from different points of view about how to handle a matter or decision. This can actually be a good thing if it causes us to see things from a new perspective. None of us has perfect knowledge, unlimited wisdom and totally pure motives. So we benefit from coming up against people who see things differently, if we are willing to work creatively together to resolve our differences. We have a few examples of this type of conflict in today’s verses, from the book of Acts.
A helpful pattern emerges from the book of Acts that is useful for work conflicts:
- Listen Carefully: Listen carefully to the concerns and perspectives of your co-workers. Who are the stakeholders that will be affected by your decisions? How can you best serve all parties?
- Assess Honestly: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of various courses of action and concerns. They have to be acknowledged to be addressed.
- Discard Prejudices: Be willing to change old attitudes and prejudices in light of new information.
- Think Creatively: Create a new solution together.
Watch this short video about finding creative solutions to conflict.
Jesus, you say in your word that if we lack wisdom, especially in the midst of our trials, we can ask you, and you will give generously. I ask for the patience and humility necessary to truly listen and submit to you. I pray for the wisdom to come to a solution. Amen.
–from Conflict At Work day 6