Tuesday, July 22, 2014

you're wrong.

"Who is wise and understanding among you? 
Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 
Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness"
James 3:13-18

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How many times in your life have you put all the responsibility of a problem or situation on the other person?
... Let me ask the question in a different way... 
How many times have you used phrases such as, "You're wrong," or "I didn't do anything, it's your fault?" 
... Hitting a little closer to home yet? 

It sure is for me.

You see, I have done my fair share of finger pointing, primarily in the first couple years of marriage. My husband and I were both very hard-headed and stubborn people trying to mesh our lives together. We both stood on what we thought was "right" and would just wait for the other to give in, as if saying "you're right" or being submissive was a bad thing. It was such a foolish, prideful, and selfish way of thinking. Simple disagreements over petty things would turn into explosive arguments. And for what? To be able to say, "I told you so?" Oh my word. What nonsense!

And to make matters worse, even if one of us was indeed "right," we were both handling it such a way that we were being a stumbling block for the other person. It is in our fleshly nature to either defend ourselves or run if we feel challenged. So instead of being "meek in wisdom" when discussing differences, we chose to make sure our point was heard which would only add fuel to the fire and stir up negative emotions in the other person. What a waste of valuable and precious time together...

Just imagine how many relationships would be saved if each individual took the time to focus on how to better their reactions and emotions when engaging in a disagreement. To strive to be selfless instead of selfish... submissive instead of boastful... full of mercy instead of full of bitterness.

James says in verse seventeen,

"... But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

What words describe the manner in which you handle conflict? Whether you are in the right or in the wrong, are you considerate of the other person? Or just out for blood? It doesn't even have to be in a marriage, it can be with a co-worker who just is constantly trying to tear you down. Do you handle it like a man/woman of integrity or walk in with fists clenched and ready for battle?

My friend, I don't know about you, but I am tired of fighting. Let's stop pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. You know as well as I do that we are not perfect, nor are we better than our spouse or mailman. Let us honor one another through every interaction (good and bad), whether we think the other person is worthy of it or not. It may not be easy and we may not see the benefit right away, but we can have assurance and peace knowing that...

"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness"
-James 3:18