Saturday Sermon: Create environment to grow tall, strong

Feb. 11, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.

By Jerry Wheeler

True love is like a large, tall, straight redwood - beautiful to experience and great to be around. But on the other side of the coin, are hate, selfishness, bitterness and jealousy.

Every church of today can and will experience all of the above statement. We have all heard stories of organizations, companies and churches that disintegrated to bitter conflicts because of the last part of this opening statement. Quite often, the conflict began with someone shifting blame for failure, petty gossip that caused hurt, envy that someone was treated better or someone was elevated in the company, church ahead of me.

Me-me-me - that can be a quick way to tear down a church or organization. There are those who think only of themselves and not what is best for everyone. Whatever the cause, people took their eyes off the common goals and started protecting themselves. That's no way to build a team and to build a church. But unity isn't the goal. Rather, unity is a result, one of a shared vision and cooperative efforts.

In families, companies, churches or any other organization, leaders can build unity by living for and pointing people toward a purpose that transcends each individual.

So, overlook petty issues, and communicate with clarity and compassion. When each person feels valued and included, incredible things can happen. People develop their skills, grow more committed to the cause and encourage one another. In this environment, they grow as tall and strong as red woods.

What's the temperature of your family or church? If you aren't "dwelling together in unity," don't try to force it. Instead, focus your energies on clarifying a purpose and enlisting cooperation to achieve a common goal. This solidifies your goal in life, as God intended you to be.

Jerry Wheeler is a lay speaker at John Wesley Methodist Church.



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