What is your first reaction when someone offends you? Are you quick to “defend” yourself and “put someone in their place”? Do you run around and tell your other friends how wrong they were, and how right you are? I feel like a lot of us do react this way when conflict comes.
What SHOULD happen when conflict arises, and it will, because we are all humans with different opinions, is that we should be gentle and merciful. We should be quick to forgive and we should never let bitterness set in. Some of you may be thinking, that all sounds well and good, but she has no idea what I’ve been through. Well, really, there should be nothing that you hold on to that keeps you in bitterness or unforgiveness, because the person it’s really hindering is you.
Some things I have done when I have been in situations that I could have been REALLY upset or offended by is ask myself, “Does this person mean more to me than the way they are acting towards me, and can I choose to love them through this?” P.S. The answer should always be yes! I also ask myself, “Is this thing that happened really that big of a deal, like will it still be a big deal 5 years from now?” A lot of times people get upset over things in the moment, that really have no lasting impact or repercussions and in other words aren’t really worth your time being upset over.
I would encourage you to spend a little time thinking about your temper, the way God views conflict, and they way you desire to respond in the midst of tough situations. Do you always fly off the handle? Are you able to calm down? And most importantly are you able to forgive that person? If your situation has been extremely hurtful, I would ask the Lord to help you hand it over to Him. According to the book of James, real wisdom is “characterized by getting along with others”. We all should be desiring more wisdom from Him in our lives and to live our lives according to His guidelines. Let’s lay down our offenses and pursue His ways.
“Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”
James 3:17-18 MSG
Featured image by Allison Mims