What Keeps You Up At Night?
Conflict and criticism is all around us. Just turn the news on and you hear one person criticizing another, on social media there are such terms now as twitter beef, and in our relationships conflict arises all around us. Have you ever lost sleep over a disagreement? Most of us have. Conflict is not comfortable and many of us don’t know what to do with it.
How do you handle conflict? Are you and avoider? You don’t deal with it, your passive, you hope by not dealing with it, it will just go away. Are you a spewer? You tend to think the loudest person wins, so you rant and rave. Maybe you’re a worrier? You worry that you caused conflict before it has happened if it even has.
Conflict related stress hurts us spiritually as well as physically. Ohio State University Of Medicine did a studie that showed your immune system weakens as confilct arises in you. It’s no wonder God’s word tell us to get along! God cares deeply for both your physical as well as your spiritual health.
How can we respond in a Godly way to both confilict and criticism, so we can truly live at peace with others? Romans 12 shows us three ways to start responding better to confilict.
- If possible live at peace with everbody. Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Notice Paul ( author of romans) doesn’t say “as much as it depends on your spouse” or “as much as it depends on your boss” no he suggests peace making depends on us. Do your part to bring peace. Avoiding, spewing, or worring are not great ways to handle conflict and doing your part to keep peace. A great starting piont is apologizing. Whens the last time you said sorry? If possible live at peace with everybody.
- Never repay evil with evil. Romans 12:20–21 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry,feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap buringing coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is a tough one to swallow. Some of us have been deeply hurt by somebody we trust and it is hard for us to think of doing anything kind to them or towards them. Remember God cares for your health very deeply and personally, so He only asks us to do things that will bring us closer to that health in our lives. God understands that harboring unforgivness, bitterness, or hate in your heart is like drinking posion and expecting the other person to be harmed by it. Those things only hurt you more. Try starting by simply praying for that person. If you struggle in this area seek out a pastor, counselor, or friend to talk to about it. Its time to live in freedom!
- Do your part and leave the rest to God. Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord. As we do our part to keep peace with everybody, we can trust and leave God to do His part. God is a just God. He is full of grace, but there are clear consequences to sin: Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death. God has the ultimate say and He will be the judge over all, rest in that.
For further teaching on this watch Pastor Josh on Facebook. Please comment below!