We are hurt and misunderstood
and even church members.
We would rather sulk, hate, and become embittered before making one single effort to extend grace and love.
What do we do when relationships go wrong?
Conflict (misunderstandings, assumptions, sheer ignorance, sin) is inevitable.
So now what?
I believe MOST of us, whether we want to admit this or not, run and pout (go to our safe zone) instead of doing the hard work of reconciliation. It takes a lot of work on our part to build healthy relationships. And, if we claim to be a "Christian", we are commanded to forgive and live at peace with one another. (Romans 12:18; Matthew 18:35; Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13, etc.) A Christian simply cannot live a life of bitterness. Period. This also means we can't live a life of peace faking.
Are you a peace faker?
One of my favorite books is The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. In it he asks the question,
"What are you really living for? It's crucial to realize that you either glorify God, or you glorify something or someone else. You're always making something look big. If you don't glorify God when you're involved in a conflict, you inevitably show that someone or something else rules your heart.”What is ruling your heart?
What are you ALLOWING to rule your heart?
Sande also goes on to say,
“Conflict is one of the many tools that God will use to help you develop a more Christ-like character . . . As you worry less about going through conflict and focus more on growing through conflict, you will enhance that process and experience the incomparable blessing of being conformed to the likeness of Christ . . . Because Christians are the most forgiven people in the world, we should be the most forgiving people in the world as well.”Have you been forgiven in Christ? Does God continually apply His balm of grace and forgiveness in your life daily? If so, what is holding you [me] back from forgiving others?
YOU be the bigger person.
YOU be the first to extend the light of love and grace.
YOU stop all the assumptions.
YOU stop allowing bitterness to overtake your life.
YOU stop peace faking.
YOU obey. Simply obey.
Who's with me?
Heavenly Father, help me to love well.
Help me to love like You.
You are always faithful, always loving, always good.
You know the worst in me, yet love me still.
You know the many times I have denied and despised you,
yet the depths of your mercy knows no end.
How my heart longs to be more like You.
Keep leading me to Jesus.