Conflict and Peacemaking

I read an interesting and thought provoking quote the other day. It got me to thinking....

We have conflict with other people when our practical theology parts ways with our confessional theology. That is, when what we profess and believe about God is revealed by how we actually live.

Here is something that might make you shake a little- the condition of your relationships demonstrates what you believe about God.

You might say that your relationships are great and that you are at peace with those in your life, but do your relationships actually bear that out? Are your relationships harmonious ones? Do you have unresolved issues with friends and family that you are simply ignoring because it is easier that way?

Something to understand is that your relationship problems and the lack of internal peace that comes with is reveals the condition of your own heart. There is nothing like a "good" conflict for revealing what is really going on in your heart!

Those words you said in anger...revealed what you really think about them but are too polite to say under normal conditions. The stuff you threw, the door you slammed, all that sort of acting out in anger is revealing the rebellious two year old who lives inside you who demands her own way. That part of you that has not been submitted to the discipline of the Holy Spirit.

Your relationship problems didn't begin with that argument, that argument was the result of an area of your mind which has not been renewed and an area of your heart that has not been surrendered to the Lord God, King of the Universe.

We must constantly be reviewing our thoughts, beliefs and desires in light of Scripture and while thanking God for His abundant grace, begin to address those things in our hearts that lead us to sin. We must begin to ask ourselves the hardest of questions that we really prefer to reserve for other people!

"What thoughts of mine led to what I said?" "Are those thoughts pure, lovely, holy, righteous, honorable?" "How do my thoughts line up with the Word of God?"

We must do the same for our belief system. Your beliefs shape what you do because we are motivated by truth. If you believe something to be true you will act upon it. You must ask the Lord's help in discerning what you believe to be true. Do those beliefs line up with Scripture? If not, then reject those that are false.

So how does this all reveal what you and I believe about God? We "preach" to ourselves every day Ladies. We are either preaching good theology or bad theology, truth about God or things that we would like to be true about God, but aren't. When you have a destroyed relationship you have forgotten that the Lord commands us to be reconciled to one another and to love one another, to share one another's burdens and to admonish one another.

If your relationship is blown up, you are practicing false beliefs about God in thinking that God does not notice or does not care about the discord between you. He cares, deeply.

It is not always possible to be reconciled, I know that for sure. But let it never be that our relationships are torn because you and I refused to practice good theology. I would rather take the chance of speaking the absolute truth in love to a fellow sister or brother in Christ and take the risk of their temporary anger than to have an unreconciled relationship.

This stuff is takes hours and sometimes days and weeks to resolve. It is messy, leaving hurt and pain in its wake. And it is glorious, when two who were at odds with one another embrace and cry and fall over each others words to express sorrow and repentance and ask forgiveness.

I would rather the latter in my world, and I intend to make it so whenever possible.