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.
Reaction is not the same as Divinely Inspired Action!
When thinking on the situation with the mean person, praying on it, God revealed what I said in the last post (Pulling a Jonah) that I was focused on my own feelings of how that person treated me rather than truly looking at the person. When I stopped to look, study them so to speak, I realize my feelings blinded me to the reality of the situation. This person is hateful, rough, and foul-mouthed on the outside, but inside is a different story.
Reaction usually takes us right down to their level. Why, because reaction is usually coming from the flesh. Reaction is hasty, not wise. Results from reacting to people/situations tend to be what we wished didn’t happen rather than something we are thankful happened, but when we seek God’s direction we get the best outcome. I used to think that God would rather I just did nothing so there would be peace, but that wasn’t His feelings at all, and it wasn’t a way to get peace. When faced with a situation not too long ago, I realized that if I didn’t say anything I would just keep going over it in my head. Have you ever experienced that? Someone says something that hurts you, or makes you mad and you end up fighting with this person in your own mind? I would play out the whole conversation. In our minds we get it all wrong, let me tell you, and it’s exhausting!!! I’m done with that.
At that point, God showed me that instead of reacting to the hurt through the anger, I should take a step back, calm down, and look for what His divinely inspired action would be, and it was wonderful! God says in His Word to confront the problem, if we have a problem with someone or think they have a problem with us, we are to face it, face them, and resolve it to the best of our ability as far as it concerns us! Confront does not automatically mean right that instant either! God also has His timing. Prayerfully giving it to Him, asking Him to direct our steps in resolving it, be on the lookout for some of that Creative Miracle working Power of His! 🙂 Who better to navigate through the landmines inside other people than the one who sees into their heart?
There is a Ricky Skaggs song I love called: “Instead”. The lyrics in this song touch my heart and I feel a perfect lens in which to view others. “I am the chief of sinners, should have been left for dead, my penalty was death on a tree, Jesus paid instead”. When we are looking at others, the best possible way to approach them is through the lens of our own need for a Savior’s mercy and grace, because we are not perfect. Where there is humility there will be no room for blame.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
So, besides the wisdom and benefit of conflict resolution, what other point is there in doing the dreaded “facing it” stuff? Love! Love is the point! God’s greatest point!
Matthew 5: Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The people we are dealing with might not be saved, might not be open to resolving the issues, might never even be friends/friendly, but we are still called to be known by the love that is in our hearts. If we are to be known by our love, hate can’t be in the mix.
When we face up to an issue with someone: we are being obedient to God, we are loving ourselves by not making ourselves sick holding onto the offense, and we show love to the other person when we address an issue because we are saying “I don’t want there to be division between us, let’s resolve this”. We don’t address an issue wanting our way, wanting to be right, making sure we proved our point, or setting that person in their place. Nope, no resolution will happen that way. Our desire and objective should be love and peace!
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
When we approach a situation/person in love, with a goal of peace and unity, we have done our best in God’s eyes. We all have free-will and can respond how we want, but according to scripture we have done our part!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
God puts mean difficult people in our lives for a purpose. It’s not random. Learning to love them is a high calling that our flesh will want nothing to do with. I know I have been confused by how I can dish out a cold shoulder to someone while at the same time be overflowing with love for God in my heart. Isn’t that what they call an oxymoron? Makes me feel like one anyway! Ha I asked God: how can these two completely different emotions happen all at once? I believe His answer is that it’s not abnormal. #1. My flesh is ready to wage war, but Holy Spirit is ready to love. #2. The overflowing love for God is actually meant to be directed/poured outward onto those around me! How awesome is God! Part of how He wants us to love him is by loving others!! The difficult people are our chance to love God! To hug them is to hug God, to give to them is to give to God, to be kind to them (is like heaping burning coals on their heads (Prov.25:21) ok, ok, this is about love not revenge, but I didn’t make it up – it’s really in the Word! Anyway, seriously, all of this is an act of obedience from a willing heart to give back the MUCH we’ve already been given.
How else can we lavish love on God as if he were here? This is the way! This is the way Jesus showed love for the Father here on earth! He loved God through intimate relationship of prayer and worship, and he loved those around him. He served God by serving others. He walked in obedience to the greatest command of loving.
Who can you pour out love for God on?
In a dream, last night after writing this, there was a man who wanted my love, but kept pushing me away. He even said that he didn’t believe anyone ever would or could love him because of his horrible wounds. I asked what wounds and He lifted his shirt to show me half of his torso missing, from his ribs to his waist. He tried to leave, but I called him back. I tried to hug him, but he kept backing up until he hit the wall and then I hugged him.
I believe this was about the call of God to love people. People are seriously wounded and hurting, inside and outside the body of Christ. In a post on Elijahlist, Eileen Fisher said: “Pieces of your heart which have been robbed and stolen – I am calling and commanding them to come back to make your hearts whole – to where you can feel the pulse of Heaven; to where you can come to understand and grasp the depth of My love; to where you can come to exercise My love in a world that is starving and alone.” “For I will say the hour of isolation is being broken off of this nation. You will see where others, who have locked themselves away for years, literally for years because of bruises and pains received in and out of My Body, are going to start to come forth into the flood of the streets of My presence.” http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=9664
I received this message this morning, and I believe this is part of what the dream meant, the stomach area was missing (starving) and the person was alone, and thought they always would be because there would be no one capable or willing to love them just as they were. God is calling for this kind of love to pour out of us. I know it’s my call! How about you?
“And he is the one who has told us about the great love for others which the Holy Spirit has given you.”