Devotions
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May 24, 2017, 5:00 AM

How are you approaching your relationships where conflict and tension exist?  



How are you approaching your relationships where conflict and tension exist?  Ever wanted desperately to help someone see the right side of an issue but the methods behind your good intentions got entangled with anger? Instead of righteousness and grace steering your loved one towards the better path, you found them going a million miles in the opposite direction and yourself looking like an idiot and asking for forgiveness?

 

Boy, I sure have. Instead of approaching the situation Biblically, by first listening and trying to discover where they were coming from, how their life experiences brought them to this place, and what they truly wanted and needed, I blazed in with guns of defense rebutting their actions. Instead of taking even a moment to discover their perspective, my emotions took over, their ears closed, and conflict began. I thought I had the best intention at heart, and I was determined that my words would prove it. In reflection, they ended up not feeling loved by me at all. Rather, they felt judged, very hurt, and determined to never ask for my advice again.

 

I realized, like an idiot, I allowed my tongue to lead instead of my ears and my sensibilities were controlled by my emotions. I was walking in my own strength to change the situation rather than allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to intervene, thus they were steered further away from truth rather than towards it.  Think about it. How many times have you approached someone with hostility and the situation ended with them longing to please you? If you’re like me, not a single time.

 

What I’m learning is when someone comes to me for advice, I must first place the issue at the hands and feet of Jesus, value them as a person capable of making their own decisions, with the same free will God has given to me. I must also listen intently and hold my tongue so I don’t look like a fool and undo what God intends. I am not God.  Only God has the ability to see the future. He knows the numbers of hairs on their head. He holds them in the palm of His hands and sometimes He will allow then to fall to show them just how capable He is.

 

It is not my right or even my duty to force my opinion on those I love. My job is to demonstrate who God is by mimicking His characteristics so those around me will desire what I have and draw closer to Him. It’s God’s job to make beauty out of the ashes our sufferings leave behind, and this is exactly what He will do if we surrender and let Him handle it. That is exactly what His Word proclaims.

“He will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

 

This word releases the pressure from me that I have to fix their problems. It makes clear that my job is to allow Him to work on them and to use me as His instrument only if He chooses to. Believe me, my friend, He hasn’t chosen you or me for this work if either of us is approaching the situation with malice or an agenda. God is love, gentleness, kindness, and humility. If we surrender the situation to our Creator, it will allow us to walk with a sense of pride and peace knowing that we imparted agape love instead of strife and condemnation. If we surrender, our friend will leave the situation with a renewed sense of trust and faith that will lead them to Jesus, which is exactly what we wanted in the first place. What steps do you need to take to learn to surrender?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to surrender all things to You and to trust in the promise that You have everything in under control. Jesus remind me to contain my tongue, to listen first and to recall Your words and actions so I can replicate them as You’ve commanded. Lord help me to be the best person I can be simply by being patient and letting You reign on Your throne. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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