Let There Be Peace
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. ~Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT)
Jesus was kind to Judas right on up to and including the actual moment of betrayal, yet when someone wrongs us, we act like their penalty should be death by lethal injection. As a matter of fact, the Bible indicates in Matthew 18:22 that forgiveness should be as natural as breathing, and it should be from the heart, not just lip service. Yes, they treated you so horribly, however the word suggests that you forgive them because of your love for Christ and your desire to be like Him. Yes, they threw you under the bus so they could deflect correction, yet the word suggests making every effort to remain at peace with them. I know, they cheated on you, molested you, or even tried to kill you, but for your heart to remain pure is God’s desire, and your heart is unable to remain pure with layers of unforgiveness festering. Living in peace and forgiving does not mean you have to be best friends, talk every day, or be in each other’s Will. Living in peace means your heart has no animosity towards them, you have healed and forgiven and can be around them without having ill thoughts about or towards that person. Healing is very important, because until you allow those wounds to heal, you will remain in a cycle of what seems like bad relationships or bad choices because instead of learning from past lessons, you are reliving them through different people. Heal yourself so you are not one of those hurt people who keeps hurting people. This type of peace is just a part of the peace that surpasses all understanding. Yes, I know he cheated on me, but let there be peace. Yes, I know she lied on me or betrayed my trust by running her mouth but let there be peace. Yes, I know they threw me under the bus to deflect the fact they hadn’t done their work but let there be peace. Yes, I know they tried to set me up to fail and fall hard but let there be peace. Be reminded that Vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19) and He doesn’t need our help, nor our prayers to help Him allow harvests that are evidence of the seeds that have been sown.
Keep Your Cool
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. ~Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
Instead of fanning the flame of frustration and furious, try fanning the flame of forgiveness and forbearance. Instead of adding fuel to a fire that will become a major explosion, try fueling that flame with calm communication that prevents accusations and defense mechanisms. Try mature conversations that express how their actions make you feel instead of allegations like “you always...” or “you never…” When you invite them into a conversation and you explain how their behavior makes you feel, it helps them understand your perspective. When you are engaging in conversation during or after a dispute, remove the ever popular “I am right” approach. Arguments are about a difference of opinion, which does not always translate to a right and a wrong. Someone who was not taught something that you were, may not know how to do something or that a certain behavior should be exemplified, so to quantify that with making them wrong will not help the situation, but escalate the damage. Remember a Perfect Perspective is one that sees the big picture and not just one’s narrowed viewpoint of a matter. Remember, your way is not always the ‘right’ way or the ‘best’ way either, and everyone has their way of looking at things, the goal is to come together and have a discussion for a common goal without sacrificing respect and love for the relationship. Instead of trying to change someone else, take a look in the mirror and see how your words or actions can be altered to still arrive at the common goal that works for the relationship, whether that relationship is familial, friend, professional, or romantic.
Just because you have been this way all your life, does not mean it is conducive for a successful relationship. ~Erica Spruill
Call To Action:
What are some ways you can be intentional about ensuring there is peace and keeping your cool when dealing with tense situations?
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. ~Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)