Rule With Peace, Stand Against Strife.

Challenge & Revelation

A few days ago there were several times I encountered mothers with misbehaving kids. Both times I had to remind myself not to become irritated because the situations were beyond their control. One was a fairly new mom with a cranky two-year old. He didn’t want to eat and the circumstance resulted in her having to leave the restaurant. I’ve never had that happen to me, but I’m sure it’s humiliating. The second scene was a little different.

Kids at the table across from me were arguing about who was in charge. Their mom quietly entered the conversation, “those who are in charge, keep the peace.” The children fell silent realizing their argument amounted to nothing.

Way to go, mom.

Instead of yelling at them for arguing, one single thought brought silence. I was proud that she hadn’t added to the noise.

This week, the Lord is working on me with keeping the peace. Many times, I aggravate the situation with my words. I’ve never been one to hold my tongue, unless I didn’t know what to say. In a heated situation it can be hard sometimes. You want to throw something back in their face because you’re hurt and angry. But that never makes any situation better.

I woke up this morning to a verse a friend sent that really helped me.

James 4:1 {MSG}

“Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.”

Strife is partially wanting your own way and doing anything to get it. Peace isn’t not caring how things go, it’s being okay with how things turn out and trusting God that He is going to make good of every circumstance.

So how do we keep constant internal peace? Instead of letting every little thing get under your skin, you make a choice. Let His peace reign through you at all times. With the phrase “constant peace” my mind is taken to a verse I learned at a very young age.

Isaiah 26:3 {AMP}

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind {both it’s inclination and it’s character} is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on you, and hopes confidently in You.”

This verse is so straightforward that you can’t help but think, “Why didn’t I remember this in those stressful scenarios?”

The point is, every part of our being reflects the God we serve. With the distracting things that surround us, it may be hard to continually think on His Word and promises, but the more we let Him pour into us, the easier it gets.

Have a great week, guys. That’s all I have to say for now 🙂

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Forgive and Let Go.

Challenge & Revelation, Uncategorized

This morning as I was driving home from church a thought occurred to me.

There will always be drama around you, it’s your reaction that determines the outcome.”

In high school (you know, a few months ago) I always bragged that I didn’t have any drama. I later realized it was because I made the decision I didn’t have time for it. When a situation arose where people were taking sides, I avoided it. Now, I see things a little differently.

Drama populates every circle. You make the choice to either side with whomever you’re talking to or find out the real story. Let’s be honest, most of the time the first version of the story you hear, isn’t the real one. So what do you do when a friend comes to you crying and hurt, spouting out how this person lied to them and destroyed their dreams?

Listen.

A true friend listens when support is needed. You don’t have to side with this person (even though, some may take your head nod as an agreement..) People need to be heard out, get the garbage out of their head that keeps harassing them. Others say what they need to say, but continue to circle one thought like a vulture with it’s intended prey.

The key is to focus on what they’re saying, comfort them, and help them rise above it. Drama can cloud a mind and often leaves people disoriented and confused. It can act like tear gas, dropping you to your knees in surprise, sinking with you to the floor. The tear gas blurs your vision and can cause disorientation, confusion, and sometimes panic. When exposed to tear gas, the best thing to do is stay calm and not rub it in.

What does this have anything to do with drama? When you’re offended, what is your immediate response? Do you respond in anger or do you keep calm? It may sound simple but take a deep breath. It’s harder to remember this than you think. The last thing you want to do when dealing with a stressful situation is to dwell on it. Constantly turning over the situation won’t fix anything, and dwelling on your hurt or anger will only make the circumstances worse.

You don’t have to be apart of it. Feed the peace, not the strife. 

Some friends will look to you as their voice of reason. Some may need you to stand taller than the attack and pull them up. Our words were meant to uplift and never condemn. There is a difference between having an opinion and accusing. Watch your tone, and be careful in your phrasing with words. When someone is already surrounded by drama, they can easily become offended.

With that said, don’t tread so lightly that you become an enabler. Allowing people to see the reality is never easy and there may not always be a right moment. Pray about it. Say what you have in your mind first, think it through, don’t let your tongue flap in the wind. Self-reserve can be the most modest and respected attribute of a person.

Okay, those are my thoughts for the week/day/whatever. You know 🙂 Have a great week, guys!