The one thing that all mankind have in common is relationships and conflict.
1. your relationship with God (or lack of one)
2. your relationship with others (or lack of one)
3. your relationship with yourself (or lack of one)
This really is the center of all that we do. It determines the success of our environment; our homes, our churches, our work places, our business transactions, our get-togethers, and more. We are a people of strong emotions, opinions, and passions. The problem is that we allow these "feelings" to rule and dictate our day to day interacting with people.
This is the one area we are allowing satan (the ruler of this world for the time being) to have victory. This can change if we start focusing on the difference of what we KNOW vs. what we FEEL. Our feelings are not a bad thing. Remember that we were created in His image. He made us with a soul (a unique personality) that have real emotions. His word affirms this in Ecclesiastes 3:4
"a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
But these "feelings" cannot have control of our spirit man. Our "feelings" and our "personality" is what the word refers to as our flesh. We cannot live by, react, or be controlled by our feelings. We must stay focused and true to what we KNOW:
"Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God."
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."
"Whoever sows to please their flesh, from flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life."
"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live"
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit."
My way brings toxins and destruction and God's way brings life and peace.
HOW? HOW? HOW............IS THIS POSSIBLE? (this is me talking louder) Doesn't the Word even give us a way out on this one and tell us it may not be possible?
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
Did you catch that? It says, "as far as it depends on you." So, that tells me you need to be responsible for you and your spirit man and leave the rest up to God. You have to really empty your flesh everyday before God and fill yourself up with His nature. You have to daily be intentional to apply His greatest commandments:
1. LOVE GOD (with heart, soul, and mind)
2. LOVE PEOPLE
No where in that commandment does it say focus on yourself, but that is the problem. WE DO. We become offended, we disagree, we do things differently, we have little understanding of another's point of view or position.
You have to know that we all have different personalities with strengths and weaknesses. You cannot change other people.....that is God's job. And this might be a BIG NEWSFLASH for some of you....all personalities were not created the same. Let's not overlook that God needs all kinds of personalities to get the jobs done. He is giving us opportunities to love and serve people of all kinds, in all places, in all ways.
I have a naturally quiet spirit and I shouldn't try to change to be like anyone else. Has God challenged and stretched me over the years? Yes! My husband, on the other hand, just naturally draws people to him. He makes it all look so easy.....grrrr! With that being said, our job is to just be the greatest influence we can try to be, while remaining in His likeness. I love what John Maxwell said in his book Be a People Person, "What's the key to relating to others? It's putting yourself in someone else's place instead of putting them in their place."
We make the most elementary teaching in Christianity the most difficult to apply. When you spend time in God's word (not a devotional....that's just a bonus), in prayer, in worship, and meditation you are taking on the likeness of Him. Your spirit is giving birth to His spirit. But when we spend time in front of the T.V, on our phone, on social media, at our kids games, with our hobbies, at the gym, with our friends....and no or little time with God, then you give birth to the flesh. Everything is dictated by what you feel.
When I look at God's word and how relationships looked for Christ and his disciples, I don't read about conflict. I see many things that showed that there could have been (authority, positions, disloyalty,) but the bible keeps our focus on the mission at hand.....on what we know.....verses what we feel.
Standing on what I know,
The Mrs. Pastor