I find it interesting that whenever I am facing life situations, God finds a way to speak to me. Oh, I have never audibly heard the voice of God (though I think that would be so cool), but He does speak to me through His Word, other Christians, or any other means, which might get my attention. Frequently he speaks with a soft whisper as to direct or redirect my path, but at other times he practically yells in my ear so that I don’t “crash and burn”. Today was one of the latter days.
In my younger years, I was not afraid of confrontation (if needed), or conflict. In fact, if I felt strongly about something or felt an ideal was being defaced I could swing into action without much consideration for the outcome. As a result, I found myself in many uncomfortable situations causing a fair amount of uneasiness. I fought many “battles” and unearthed more than my share of “hills to die on”. As I have “matured” (I hope no one just choked), one skill I have consciously tried to improve is that of discernment. As a result, I don’t choose to die on every hill and my battles are fewer and further between, but unfortunately these strides have not been enough to create in me the heart of a peacemaker.
Some folks are natural peacemakers. Life is always so calm around them. No matter what conflict arises, they can find a way to create a sense of peace in those involved, even through “battle”. They see beyond the discord and can get to the root of the conflict to find resolution. Their recompense is that conflict doesn’t invade their life as much. How do they do that?
Lately, in various avenues of my life, several of my core ideals have been challenged thus causing a tremendous amount of internal conflict. Some of these challenges have to do with work, some with the church, and some with businesses. I have sat down at my computer and written more than a few emails to address each of these potential “battles”, only to trash them before sending. I have dialed numbers, and even talked out the situations with friends, only to—do nothing. When I did finally decide to stage “battle” and “choose a hill to die on”, there was no resolution, no satisfaction, no solution and definitely no peace. This wasn’t because I didn’t face the problem in a noble manner, but because when things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to I chose continued conflict over peaceful resolution.
Today’s Purpose Driven Devotional was about peacemaking – this is the God screaming in my ear part. “No matter where you go, you are a peacemaker – showing others how to make peace with God. As a peacemaker, you also begin the process of peace between you and those who stand against you (going as far as you possibly can under God’s leadership). And you help others make peace with each other.” Peace truly isn’t found in the absence of conflict, but in the reconciliation of it. Peace isn’t accomplished by allowing others to walk all over you or in minimizing important issues which need to be addressed. Peace is found when you truly care about resolution more than conflict and when you place your energy in a loving manner behind finding solutions over remaining in conflict.
So what does this mean to me today? • Stop complaining – if I am not committed to resolution, then I should keep my mouth shut • Start seeking ways to thoughtfully analyze the conflict with resolution in mind • Start seeing the “battle” from the eye of others involved • Choose battles that are worthy my fight—let others go knowing either someone else will take them on or they aren’t worth the effort. • Decide if my action or inaction with affect my life one way or another in the next three years, if not, LET IT GO (this one should save much heartache). • Realize that all the above actions impact my life as well as those of my children, meaning everything is not thrown out simply because it happens to my kids (mamma bear needs to stay in the den sometimes)