Our discussion got me to thinking about many things well into the night, with me waking up with more thoughts and questions about relationships and how God views our actions within them.
Friend, when you find yourself in a crisis with another, don't tune the other person out, be mature enough to listen to what they have to say. Of course it won't be easy, but it is necessary. A lot of times this is the ugly...the ugly that will turn into beauty eventually with time. It is a growing pain. Take heed and learn. The hard in life are the things that become our holy experience. All things can be a holy experience, just like all things if given to God can become our gateway to joy. Learn how to see past the moment. Ask yourself the tough questions, but never, never shut down communication. Take a cooling off period if you have to, but get the issue resolved pretty quickly.
"Life is loss," that's what Ann Voskamp says. Eventually we will loose every personal possession we have...including relationships—primarily to death, not feuding. Life really is too short to let bickering control the climate of your relationships and how you go on with the life you have left. Learn to let the seeming hurts in life...the death from the words...the tongue, the action, let it build your character. The only way to live is to die. Die to wanting to be right...die to the protection of self. Take in the hard, grab hold of it so that in due season you can grow wings and fly. Give gratitude for pain. Remember, the miracle always proceeds thanksgiving.
Not communicating and getting a situation corrected goes against what God Word says. Our Father wants conflict resolved. Think about it parents. How do you feel when your children aren't getting alone? Fighting children can bring great stress to the heart of a parent. Conflicts are to be resolved...even if the relationship can't be fully restored to where it once was. The Bible says, "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."
Our intent is the motivating factor behind the matter...why we do what we do—that is what's most important to an all knowing, righteous God. That is what God cares about. God doesn't want His children being Pharisee's, or to use today's term: narcissist. Just appearing to be "pious"-- just looking the part, does good for no one, at least not in an eternal perspective. I don't think I have ever read in Scripture where a Pharisee committed murder, but we have read about their behind the scene plots of the acts. They are deceitful plotters and they totally misunderstood and for those still living, they misunderstand God's law totally. They miss the teaching about keeping a clean heart. Yes their hands were clean, but what about the state of their filthy heart. God cares about our heart, our intent and how we treat others, especially those that are of the same household of faith.
Jesus calls us to a greater righteousness... not just a righteous where we "appear' to be righteous. Work at not being a person content to obey God's Word outwardly only. Pay attention to the atmosphere of your heart, and be open to change if that's what's needed.
Don't become content with your appearance and how you can deceive others with your "pious" look, attitude and behavior. They can't judge you nor reward you. Instead care about the one who is able to judge you rightly...see behind all your fluff. God cannot be fooled as we mere mortals can. Pious people will be dealt with. Sure you may do good deeds Mr. & Mrs. Pious, but God is going to judge your motives as well as your deeds.
And ask yourself, "What is the atmosphere of my heart?"
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~ Ps. 51:10
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