Houston, We Have a Problem….

Conflict arises in all of our lives regardless of whether we are good, bad, obedient, reckless or wayward.  Conflict is a fact of life that we all face occasionally.  Man, that stinks!!

Some of us enjoy the challenge; others avoid it like the plague.  However, plenty of these battles of will sneak into our marriages, relationships, friendships, churches and work-places.  Disagreements are everywhere and about almost everything!!

As much as I agree that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round – what happens when you feel like you are being taken advantage of or someone’s isn’t living up to their part of the bargain?  What then?

Do you strike back?  Do you roll over?  What if a compromise doesn’t seem likely to happen?  Hmmm.

I honestly don’t know the answer.  Of course, I’ve read many bible verses that tell me to forgive others, turn the other cheek and be slow to anger…but what if it’s a REALLY BAD situation?

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21

Did you see where it says ‘repay NO ONE evil for evil”?  Just checking!

Pastor Anthony McFarland gives some great insight to any conflicting situation by using the four C’s of behavior.  In his Abundant Harvest Christian Center website he wrote, “In order to effectively dissolve conflict, the believer must engage in the four C’s of behavior. The four C’s include: courtesy, compassion, compromise, and Christ-likeness. The four C’s are embedded in the standard model Jesus Christ. As Jesus lived on the earth, He illustrated these character traits.”

Basically, as Christians we are called to put others before ourselves and leave the judgment and punishment to God.  WOW!  This is REALLY hard to do!  I’ve always heard that every dog gets their day, but I’d sure like to see them get it.  (I know, I know…that’s NOT what I should do.)

In fact, God gives us several examples of what to do in controversies:

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
  • “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:19
  • “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13
  • “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:18

The next time you face a conflict, ask the Lord that HE bring to mind an image of Jesus Christ.  Also, ask Him to help you be courteous, compassionate and to have a will to compromise.  You might be surprised how quickly He can act!!

The world may laugh at us and tell us to strike back, stand our ground and to scream at the top of our lungs, but Jesus won’t.  He instructs us to love our enemies even when they are being a pain!

What conflicts do you face today?  How are you handling them?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

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