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Life Group Questions

1.  When conflict arises, do you "jump on the bandwagon" and get fired up, or are you able to walk in meekness in order to change the level of angry emotional intensity in a situation?  Proverbs 15:1  "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

2.  Often times, we are brought into a conflict we were unaware of, or had no part in creating.  However, it is our biblical responsibility to minister to people in those situations.  Do you have an example to share from your life?

3.  Are you a venter or an internalizer?  How can you improve in this area?

4.  David admitted his error openly and freely without trying to save face.  How do you handle receiving correction during conflict from others?  Are you willing to allow others to speak into your life or to diffuse a conflict you are a part of?

 5.  When caught up in a conflict, how easy is it for you to stop and consider the source before becoming driven by anger?  What are some practical ways that you can wisely put revengeful anger into perspective?  Are you willing to allow God to exact His revenge and not rush into slaughter like David?

Sermon Notes

Conflict Management

Angry Reactions Require Gentle Confrontation with the Truth

Proverbs 31:30  "charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

1 Samuel 25:2-3
2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.

Nabal - "fool"
Hebrew "qasheh“ - "one who is cruel, grievous, hard-hearted, impudent, obstinate, rough, stiff-necked, and stubborn."
Abigail - "my father is joy"

 1 Samuel 25:14:
14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, and he scorned them. 15 "Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, while we were in the fields. 16 "They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 "Now therefore, know and consider what you should do, for evil is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him."

1 Samuel 25:18-22
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.19 And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”

 1 Samuel 25:23-26
23 Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. 24 So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.25 Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, since the Lord has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal.

1 Samuel 25:27-33
27 And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. 29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. 30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, 

1 Samuel 25:31-33
31 that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.

-Like her, we must be mastered by and minister to angry people in the gentle strength of meekness – 1 Sam 25:23-24
-Abigail’s meekness came out of her faith in God -- 1 Sam 25:26,32
-Like her, we must understand that meekness can change the level of anger's emotional intensity and enable one to gain God’s perspective – 1 Sam 25:23-31
-Prov 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."

4 Keys to Resolving Conflict

1. Recognize the fragile ego of an angry man –v. 23-24.
2. Humbly assume responsibility –v.  25
3. Freely make restitution –v. 27-28
4. Wisely put revengeful anger into perspective
            -Consider the source of the insult that caused the anger  -v. 25-26
            -Use the proper style in correcting the anger
            -Consider the Strength of your Advocate -v 28
            -Consider the Shape of your Future -v 30-31

The Transformation that Defused David’s Anger Infused Him with a Higher Purpose!
A. David had a teachable spirit that could hear God Speaking through this Godly Woman.
B. David admitted his error openly and freely without trying to save face.
C. David slipped into the harness of meekness and altered his plans without hesitation

Romans 12:17-20
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS UPON HIS HEAD."