I hate conflict; don’t you? It makes me feel uncomfortable; it drains all the energy from my body and all the joy from my soul. Yet however much I dislike conflict, it seems there is always plenty of it in my life. I do know the reason, it’s because everyone refuses to do what I know is best. If everyone would just listen to me then all conflict would cease! (Why are you smiling?)
About a year after I married an older, wiser man told me, “You can be right, or you can be married, but you can’t be both.” It took me some time to discover the truth of his statement. There are times when I would rather win the fight than restore the relationship. Those are the times when I most need to imitate Jesus, and also the times when I am least likely to humble myself and do it. Is that also true for you? God help us.
The good news is that God is waiting to help us. When we cast our burdens on Jesus he takes them away and they no longer harm us or others. When we humble ourselves and make the call or offer the apology, Jesus cleans up the mess in amazing and freeing ways. Once the loads are lifted, the grudges are dropped and the air is cleared we can get back to the business of living in harmony as Jesus desires. The bride of Christ stops looking like a haggard, embittered woman and emerges as a beautiful and glorious lady. It’s time for us to repent and truly become the radiant bride of Christ. We have beaten up the bride of Jesus for too long.
Not sure you can find the strength to repent? Read this verse from a song by Rich Mullins…
Jesus, they drove the cold nails in your tired hands,
rolled a stone to seal your grave.
Feels like the devil rolled a stone onto my heart!
Can you roll that stone away?
Of course Jesus can roll it away…if you will just lay it down.