fighting

Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your 'Right to Be Right'?

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I know very well the sting of feeling betrayed, of feeling that a knife was stuck in your heart and twisted unmercifully. One of the greatest trials in my life came when a person I considered a dear friend deeply wounded me and refused to even engage in a conversation where we could work together on being reconciled.

After being wounded by someone, it’s completely natural for us to focus on our pain and to harbor hostility toward the person who offended us.  It’s natural to replay every aspect of the offense to try to justify our actions or seek to understand the actions of the other person. However, as natural as that is, God has called us to die to our sinful nature, which is exactly what comes naturally for us to do. What God has called us to do—and through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit we can do—is what He did: to give up ‘our right to be right’. When you are disappointed, angered, or hurt by someone, you have a critical choice to make. You can either focus on and insist on your ‘rights’, or you can focus on being in ‘right relationship’ with Your Heavenly Father.  You can nurture resentment or nurture a relationship with God:  you cannot do both.

What had been one of the greatest trials of my life became a great blessing when I chose to focus my eyes on Jesus and what He endured for me, rather than focusing my thoughts on my own pain. Like looking through binoculars, the lens was either going to be on Him, or on me: I had to choose.  I recalled that I had prayed to be conformed into His likeness, and He led me to know that I could never have an inkling of what He suffered and willingly gave up for me if I never experienced betrayal, rejection, or suffering from the wounds of a friend.

If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must ‘pick up our cross’ and follow after Him (Luke 9:23).  Philippians 2: 1-11 portrays what it means to ‘pick up your cross” and follow Jesus’ example:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus was willing to humble Himself to the point of a horrible death on the cross out of obedience to His Heavenly Father, Who knew Jesus’ death was the only way that you and I could have the possibility of fellowship with Him, a holy God. Are you willing to ‘empty yourself’ of any and everything that stands in the way of you being in ‘right relationship’ with Jesus — including your ‘right to be right’?  Ask Jesus to fill you with the same humility He demonstrated when He chose the cross for your sake and mine and put our interests ahead of His own.

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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Got Conflict? God's Got the Solution

Your stomach is tied in knots. You can’t sleep at night because you keep replaying the words you exchanged with your spouse— or other family member, boss, or close friend. In this world, conflict with others is inevitable.Broken relationships from the conflict are not inevitable.God longs for us as believers to live in unity with one another and He provides guidance on how to achieve it.

Jesus’ prayer before He went to the cross included these words intended for us as well as His disciples, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power ofyour name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.’ John 17:11

Romans 12:18 gives this counsel, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

So how should you respond when conflict arises between you and others?

1) Ask God to give you His heart in the matter, and especially His heart of love for the other person(s) with whom you are in conflict.

2) Slam the door on Satan! Recognize that your adversary Satan’s age-old strategy is always to “divide and conquer”. He longs to rob you of wholesome and ‘holy’ relationships with your family and friends. If you open the door to his lies and scheming, he will do all he can to get you to focus on yourself and to pit you against others, because his desire is to destroy intimacy and joy in your relationships.

3) Instead of focusing on your “rightness” on an issue, be willing to surrender your “right to be right” in order to be in right relationship with the other person. Remember, Jesus gave up all of His rights in order for you to be in right relationship with your Heavenly Father. If He had insisted on His rights, He never would have gone to the cross in your place and you would still be doomed to death and damnation.You are called to follow Him and ‘pick up your cross daily’ (Luke 9:23), which means being willing to sacrifice your rights for the sake of relationships.

4) Rather than rehearsing your side of the story, seek to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. 1st Corinthians 13:5 tells us: “Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].” Amplified version

5) Do NOT get others outside of the conflict involved for the purpose of taking sides with you! “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy and faithful in spirit keeps the matter hidden. “Proverbs 11:13

6) If the Lord leads, get together with the other person(s) to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15) for the purpose of reconciliation. Before doing so, make sure to ask God to give you a humble, ‘unoffendable’ heart. Ask Him to show you where you might be in the wrong. Make your priority listening to the concerns and understanding the heart of the other person rather than just sharing your own viewpoint.Above all else, allow no root of bitterness or resentment to grow in your heart toward the other person. Be even more vigilant of ridding yourself of resentment than you would be of ridding yourself of cancer in your body.

7) Be rich in mercy and generous in forgiving, knowing that you owe your very life to the mercy of God and the forgiveness He bought for you through Jesus’ death on the cross.

Do you deal with conflict God’s way? If not, are you willing to do so for the sake of healthy relationship with others, and even more importantly, to be in right relationship with God?

Written by Jamie Shaver

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Avoid Becoming A Drama Queen With These 3 Tips

Do you ever find yourself being “caught up” in drama with family, neighbors, co-workers, or  friends?  It can be an enormous distraction to an otherwise productive day.  “Drama” in relationships can also create tension, division, and emotional pain.  

 ”Drama” is any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results: for example, the vacation we planned with our friends was filled with a lot of drama.

In talking with women regularly about their lives, I have heard about conflicts and misunderstandings that have caused emotional pain, turmoil, and the loss of relationships.  

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Here are 3 tips to creating a drama-free life, as well as some scriptures showing what the Bible has to say about each.

 1)Stop gossiping.  This is idle talk, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.  The word idle means: having no worth, importance or significance.  The Bible states this about gossip:

 Proverbs 16:28

"A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."

Proverbs 18:7-8

“The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”

Proverbs 20:19

"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much."

Proverbs 26:20

"Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down."

 2)Stop Justifying Your Actions.  Do you desire to have peace?  Peace comes only when we are living in line with God’s will. If you are following God’s will, you won’t need approval from your dad, mom, friends, neighbors or co-workers.  Often times we can create a lot of drama in our lives by trying to get others to “see our point of view,” or to agree with a decision we made.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of you; what really matters is what God thinks of you.  If someone has a problem with a decision you are making or a way you choose to live your life, if you know you are right before God you have no need to defend yourself and justify your reasoning before others.  Often times we do this because we fear the rejection of men. We fear we may hurt someone’s feelings. Frequently at the root of our action is our pride and fear that others will not approve of us. In the end, when you try to please man instead of focusing on pleasing God, it’s your feelings that are hurt and God finds our man-pleasing ways detestable. 

Ecclesiastes 5:7

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God."

Luke 16:15

"He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

 3)Start Praying: Ask God for wisdom and guidance.  There is NOTHING that is too big— or too small— for God to care about in your life.  He is a God of details.  He knows all things.  Read His Word and expect that He will answer your question.  

 James 1:5

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

When King Solomon asked for knowledge, God was pleased and He gave it to Him.  

2 Chronicles 1:7-11

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

How would those who know you best describe you?  

A. Being a daughter of the King?  Or:

B. Being a drama Queen?

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?