Ever wonder why you have conflict with and just can't groove with some people? Family squabbles, friendships divided, churches attacking each other?
I pray your Christmas has NO conflict, but I know that often times; familiarity breeds contempt (1cor 11) (even amongst card carrying bible believing Christians)…I know that I have been prone to frustration with people close to me from time to time, and have all too often expressed it verbally and outwardly.
We have to have the mindset of Christ (and this is where I fail miserably every day). I read Philippians 2:1-11…slowly and prayerfully…"others better than you..not your interests…Christ's equality with God…humble…humble…exalted" (notice how humility and humbleness have to come before there is any exalting?)
It's hard eh(the Canadian in me is coming out)? Truly taking this on…I mean, we all want to see ourselves at the top, see our flags flown, compare ourselves to others, redefine true success, and place our identity in things other than Christ, after all, that IS what the world is telling us and showing us right?
In 1 Corinthians, Paul jumps to the point and addresses quarrels on "who" people say they belong to.
I am learning that the "issues", "frustrations" and "disappointments" I have in others are 100% fleshly. We are SO good at creating division. ..Especially in the "kingdom of brothers and sisters" we have on this earth. I wonder, just wonder IF we looked at EVERY situation and interaction through Kingdom(true Kingdom) eyes, and filtered out our "fleshly responses and attitudes" how blissful it would be, and how free the Holy Spirit would be to flow and do what he does? Unity, Goal, Purpose, Passion.
As you prepare to enter 2014, (what so many consider a clean slate, a fresh beginning) may you take to heart 1 Cor 13:13…"There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love." (and KNOW that on January 2, if you blow it- Christ gives you this same fresh start each and every minute you don't have to wait until January 1 2015 to "try" again)
Strive to keep the peace with all around you, before you jump on the negative bandwagon.(and I am guilty of this all to often-it's so easy to join the "against "that" camp")…
Remember, if you are on the giving end of chastisement, judgment, and condemnation…Proverbs 21:23 "Watch your words and hold your tongue; save yourself grief"
and if you by chance are on the receiving end of someone else's rant, frustration, or gossip…Proverbs 19:11 "It is to your glory to overlook offense"
Value those around you, show them, love them…TELL them. God bless you as you face a new season.