Devotionals
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May 19, 2017, 5:00 AM

Where are you winning an argument about the issues but losing a relationship?


Just the other day I was having a talk with one of the youth in my church. He was telling me about a great theological argument he was having with a friend.  Really he was probing me for information to help him win the next argument he was planning to have later that evening.  I remind him that you never really win an argument, because you can win an argument while losing the relationship at the same time. That is what happens when the issues on the table matter more to us than the people around the table. Pride can cloud our judgment. Our insecurities can fuel our response to those that disagree. The need for control and our desire to simply be right can drastically influence our approach to how we address the critical issues this world faces.

 

Far too often, we’ve taken things that are true and made them about us. This has only created more chaos, discord, and distrust to take root in our mad world. There’s no point in having strong views if we only have them so we can put people in their place.  As long as we continue to focus on the issues and ignore what’s at the center, nothing will ever change. The madness of this world isn’t going to be solved because we simply won an argument. Our emotions cannot serve as a driving force in how we respond to the world around us. Scripture speaks of envy and selfish ambition serving as the source for the conflict we experience. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16

 

Falling for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes keeps us in a loop of continual dissatisfaction and discontentment. Our hearts will remain restless until we find something to support our trust. This restlessness influences our perception. Our eyes go searching for something that will provide us security. What we see awakens something in us. The more we see, the more we want. The more we want something the more prone our eyes are to see it. Unfortunately, we’ve been looking for security in all the wrong places. We’re living in a way we were never intended to live. God created us for Himself and He’s not going to give that up. “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” Ephesians 2:14


Clarity doesn’t come in the midst of the chaos. Processing what we believe requires us to be quiet and still. We’ve got to carve out a time and space where we can silence the noise and reflect on God’s truth and the impact it should have on our life and relationships. Grace comes by submission to the Truth. We must surrender what we know to be true to Him who is the Truth. How do you have strong views about something without putting yourself in the center or putting someone else in their place?

 

This my Prayer: Father God, winning an argument means very little if I lose relationships over it. Lord give me the eyes to see the people on the other side of the table. Teach me that issues are important, but they matter less than true connection with others. Jesus help me to serve others, even those I might disagree with and not see eye-to-eye as you did. In Your name,  Amen.


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