Initially that small stone has only created a circular chip in the windscreen but as the car has continued its journey down the road the chip has turned into a crack.
Reference: v.13 "Go and tell Hananiah, 'This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron." (NIV Bible)
Explore: You would not have to look very far to find conflict between two people. Due to differences of opinion and a lack of communication that leads to a lack of understanding, there are broken relationships wherever you go. When I speak to people, particularly those going through struggles with their spouse, I realise that its not often one big difference that has started tearing them apart but a build up of many small things that have annoyed and irritated them. It's like one tiny small stone has hit the windscreen of a car. Initially that small stone has only created a circular chip in the windscreen but as the car has continued its journey down the road the chip has turned into a crack. Suddenly the glass is splintering in many different directions. It is important that we deal with the chips in our windscreens before they become great cracks. So too is it important that we deal with the chips in our relationships before they become great divides.
Application: Jeremiah and the false prophet Hananiah had a big difference in opinion. Hananiah was saying that God would redeem the people of Judah from their enemy nation within two years and yet God was saying something very different to Jeremiah. But God gave Jeremiah four very powerful conflict resolution words, "Go and tell Hananiah…" Now, God did not say, 'Go and complain to someone else about it' and he certainly didn't say, 'Don't worry about it, just let it go.' No, God was encouraging Jeremiah to address Hananiah about their differences and talk to him about it. There are many conflicts spoken of throughout the Bible and God is never one to resolve things through gossip or sweeping differences under the carpet. A Godly resolution is to go and speak to the person involved. He doesn't say it is easy and will resolve quickly, but it often stops a chip in our relationships from becoming a shattered windscreen in the future.
Prayer: Lord, dealing with conflict is so tricky. These kinds of conversations are always uncomfortable. But help me to be honest and courageous when dealing with differences. And may the desire be towards resolution rather than victory. Amen.
We all have conflict in our lives. Is there a small chip in your windscreen? What are you going to do to stop it from shattering the glass completely?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.