In Conflict

"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:5

The most difficult aspect of being a peacemaker is to examine your own heart, and asking God to do the same.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)

It is sometimes frightening to be vulnerable enough before God to have ask Him to examine your heart, however it is necessary when you are involved in a conflict.

Before you can point to the faults of the person you are in conflict with, you have to clean out the logs in your own eye/heart. What sin have you brought into the situation? What have you said or done that has contributed to the issue at hand?

In conflict you are more likely to focus on your "opponent" and their wrongs and sins than you are willing to look at your own heart. Sadly, for many people this becomes a way of life and over time they come to believe the lies of their heart. They become blinded and unable to see things as they really are.

Their personal righteousness becomes an idol to be worshiped and the mere thought or suggestion that they could have any culpability in the conflict brings rage and disbelief. The closest this person will come to any admission of guilt or logs in their own eye is to say things like, "Everyone sins, everyone is guilty" without admitting personal failure and sin. When a person gets to this point their sight is distorted and they may be blinded to the truth and reality.

None of us want to find ourselves described in the above paragraph! We run from idolatry and self-deception as women of God, or we ought to! Each of us is completely responsible before our Lord to open the eyes of our hearts through the truth of the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are to willingly lay our hearts bare before Him and rejoice as He brings His cleansing through our thoughts, beliefs, and desires. He is so faithful to make clear to us our own sin that we might confess and repent of it as an act of loving obedience to Him.

In examining ourselves for logs in our own eye we may experience the pain of realizing the depths of our own sinfulness in the situation. We tend to like to minimize this because it is easier for us to point at the sticks and specks in the eyes of the other person. We are uncomfortable with our weakness and our pride takes a pounding as we understand that we too still need the cross of Jesus Christ each day, every moment...Don't you like to think at times that you have it all together outside of the cross and the grace of God? That is our ever-present downfall.

Because of the cross you and I are free to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9) admit we have failed and receive the lavish grace that is ours in Christ. We are fully accepted by God in Christ and as our Advocate He defends us before the throne day and night. Because of the cross we can face the ugliness within us knowing that in Christ we are fully accepted and loved by our merciful God.