Are you sometimes confused by disagreements and conflict between Christians? Shouldn't believers get along?
It's true that applying biblical principles to our relationships will improve them, but we are still imperfect people.
Paul and Barnabas, both mighty men of God, had a strong disagreement and parted ways (Acts 15:36-41).
I recently read that Elizabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint, both mighty women of God, didn't get along very well either. They ended up parting ways.*
Reading between the lines, we'd find similar situations in many biographies of great saints.
We won't automatically like every Christian, and we won't work well with every Christian.
But God never asked us to "like" everyone or work with everyone. He asks this:
"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
* Read more of the story: Do the Next Thing
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another standing ovation post!! Thank-you for using your gift to God's glory!ReplyDelete
I followed your link and read the "Do the Next Thing" article. Quite interesting. Thanks for sharing. and thanks for your encouraging love notes.ReplyDelete
I have this problem with my own mother. She is saved and loves the Lord. For some reason she insists on lecturing me like Im two. I finally had to tell her to stop,and I haven't spoken to her since. Please understand,this is constant with her,and I've had enough. I lkve her vecause she's my mom,and I've forgiven her. I simply wo t out myself in that position avain. We have parted ways. It's sad,yes,but I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. No more belittling. I am happy now.ReplyDelete
I have parted ways with my Mother. I had to. I am 54 years old and she is still treating me like Im 2. Lecturing me about past mistakes, belittling me about choices I make. Ive forgiven her,but moved on now. I need to be happy, without the pressure of her ignorance. Im sorry if that seems harsh,it is the truth.ReplyDelete
Obviously, Annette, I don't know you well enough to judge your actions. You may be doing what is right. But I would caution you that God has very, very high standards for our treatment of our parents. He expects us to "honor" them. He doesn't give this same emphasis to any other human relationship. And He adds a promise for those who honor their parents. I think one reason He does this is because He knows that it can be hard at times. We honor our parents out of love and respect for God even when we cannot honor them out of love and respect for them. It is a very huge step to quit speaking to your mother and I just want to caution you. As I said, I cannot judge your actions without knowing you, but I encourage you to be very sure you are doing what honors God.Delete
I agree 100% with you Gail. I just attempted to write a relatively lengthy reply to Annette and it didn’t post, but I’ll come at this from another angle: my mom is visiting my husband and me from AZ right now. As I look at my once string and capable mother in her current frail and cognitively impaired state, i wish ihad cherished and hnoredher more. She and I are actually a lot alike so we butted heads often. The ‘issues’ aren’t even something I remember but the ‘behavior ‘ sadly recalled. I wish I had just laughed about the little irritations and loved her for all the great qualities she has. Before we know it roles have reversed and our parents are frail and forgetful. Or worse, like my daddy, gone. We lost him last Christmas Eve after a long battle with corticobasal degeneration, a disease that has symptoms like both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Cherish your mom and laugh at the irritations. I’d give anything for my mom to be healthy even if it meant being irritated daily.ReplyDelete
I'm currently in this situation with a person I will leave nameless" this individual talks to people without compassion speaks there mind and doesn't care how affects the individual she's speaking to, I do my best to love this person in the Lord but find it quite difficult at times a part of me is at the end of my rope With this individual. Advice is welcomed... Thank you!ReplyDelete
I had a very what might be described as a critical mother. She worried over everything, she criticized and scolded even when I was in my late forties. But no matter WHAT she did that irritated me, frustrated or hurt my feelings, the one thing we had going for us is WE NEVER GAVE UP! I would call her next day, or she me and we would say sorry OR just move on and talk about other things that were more agreeable. I never ever could have brought myself to END the relationship. Looking back, I wish I had done MORE for my mom. Loved her more. Was kinder instead of constantly irritated. Once, when she was prattling on about something I just shouted at her "MOM!" to interrupt her, she stopped looked at me and I said "I LOVE you Mom." She was so pleased and so surprised, she forgot everything she was talking about and just smiled a beaming smiled. I wish I had done that more often. I lost her in 2003. I have regrets. Think of Jesus, bearing with all of US! To be even just a little like Him, we can bear with the people who raised us (unless they are physically violent). If they are extremely rude or mean, we can confront them about it lovingly but firmly. My final thought, try and try again. Every day is a fresh start.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for adding this important element that I didn't add in this devotion: We should always do our very best to maintain a relationship with our parents, even if they are difficult people. God put them in our lives and He wants us to honor them out of respect for Him.
God bless you for persevering, not taking the easy way out, and "fighting the good fight of faith" when it came to your mom.
God bless you for all your works...ReplyDelete
Our Lord and Savior Jesus commands us:ReplyDelete
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 13:34-35 KJV
We might have read saints in disagreement or disaccorded with each other... but I am quite sure such occurrence where repented and we know... God justifies.
Ironically, Paul wrote to the Philippians:
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13. for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15. so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16. as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."
Philippians 2:12-16 NIV
We may have differences and views, beliefs and faith... but I love the Body of Christ.