If I had to make a top 10 list of the biggest struggles in our world, #1 would obviously be sin but a close #2 would have to be personality conflict.
So I have a question....How is it that we were all created in God's image, can have faith to move mountains, have compassion for the lost and hurting, go to other countries on a missions trip and yet we butt heads with our neighbors, co-workers, family and extended family. Don't get defensive, I'm talking to myself as well.
This is a topic I would like to do a deep study on and teach. So for now, the scripture I go to is this:
"Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
I am responsible for me. Nobody else but me. We all know this but it doesn't make it any easier. Lately I've been put in situations that have been difficult for this mrs. pastor. It's so ironic that God had this path for a little girl that struggles with social skills. I've used my silence most of my life to protect myself and yet it backfires and comes across in a negative, unapproachable way. So, I pray to God to give me the strength to break this pattern that can be offensive to others. Then there is my high expectations regarding work ethic. I expect this from my own children and my students at school. This comes from being raised in a single parent home and being on my own since 17. I wasn't going to get anywhere sitting around and making excuses or blaming others. If I wanted to be successful then it was up to hard work. Then I became a Christian and learned that it was in His word to work as unto the Lord, to let your light shine so others could see your good works and glorify your father in heaven, to be trusted with little and God would give you much more. But, this isn't always taken well either. ugh! conflict.
I know there was personality conflict in the bible.....paul and barnabas decided to part ways on their missionary journey. Both godly men. We know it happens and can happen peaceably but sometimes not and we have to be ok with that too. I have to be ok with me, and be completely open to an honest evaluation from the Holy Spirit....not the critics because there will always be critics (even loved ones). We need to be careful not to become critics ourselves. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ME.
vs. 14 "Make every effort to live in peace (only you know if you're putting effort) with all men (did you get the "all" part?) and to be holy (that means like jesus); without holiness no one will see The Lord (no excuses, you either are or you aren't). "
Now wait for it.....
vs. 15 "See to it that no one misses the grace of God (hmmmm misses?) and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (hmmm defile?)"
So it isn't that easy. It takes much effort and digesting of God's word. It's the only way.
make every effort,
the mrs. pastor