Friday, November 5, 2010

Family and Friendship Feuds

              Embrace the new day! Today, things can change!
With all the stress we carry on a daily basis it's no wonder we can lose our focus (take our eyes off of Jesus, His love and His plans) and fall into that trap of discontentment, disharmony, discord and division within our own life, within relationships and within our own soul. Often it is the very stress that we are enduring or perhaps our inability to cope with that stress that is causal to our DIS's in life.

Di-vision, dis-harmony, dis-cord, dis-couragement, dis-may and others alike. There are times when dark ploys attack the most loving family, the most connected friendships, the most organized lives and the greatest of marriages and relationships.

Whats happened?

We have lost focus and evil has come to have its way because our eyes came off the Prize, off of our Peace, off of our Joy, Hope and Life Giver. We are responsible for opening the door to the great demise of our peace when we allow others to "get under our skin", "provoke us to anger", offend us or steal our peace and joy. It takes work on our part to change our level of sensitivity and it is work to confront issues that arise within relationships that are harmful, hurtful or toxic emotionally, mentally, verbally or spiritually.

I believe communication is the key to stability, freedom and resolution. Even when the resolution is not what we want or hope for. Resolution doesnt always mean something is resolved with the ending we want but perhaps a resolve comes when it is simply discussed and released. Without communication a relationship with anyone is likend to a plant that is deprived of water and light. Thus, when we retain and suppress our hurts internalizing our emotions they are later projected onto an innocent loved one without being conscious of doing so. Suppressed emotional pain is similar to a cancer. If the cancerous cells are not removed eventually it spreads and will eat at the individual retaining them while affecting those around them. Like any toxin it must be cured, treated or removed in order to regain a healthy condition.

We must trust God in all things. Before, during and after. We do what we can and once that is done we must trust Him with the end result. But we must not take a passive attitude and trust that any resolve will come without doing something to bring resolution. God expects us to DO. 

Believe it or not it is the harboring of an offense or unresolved hurt that can rob us of our peace. The devil would love for us to walk around carrying the weight of our wounds believing they will just go away on their own. But, where the spirit of the Lord is; there is Liberty. Free yourself of the hurt, the offense, the pain! No one enjoys confrontation but do you know that there is a freedom in confronting certain issues. It doesnt mean you have a throwdown with that friend, spouse, or family member but that you choose to find resolution through love. Did you know that most people who communicate are healthier?

Note-I believe God entrusts us with the wisdom we have attained through His word and our relationship with Jesus Christ to "do something" when a situation arises. Many have taken the easy road and claim God will do this or that while I believe God is waiting for us to take the step to restoration. Jesus told Peter to step out of the boat, God commanded Abraham to do, Moses to do, Elijah to come out of the cave and face Jezebel, etc..God didnt just do all the work for those mighty valors in the Bible so what makes us think that we can just sit back and say God will this or that while we do nothing.

Yes, He fights our battles but He fights them through us!   He wants us to be doers. Hence, we must take the action necessary "in and through love" to restore what we can, build up what we can, reclaim, overcome, refresh etc. Once we have done all we can we just stand and trust the Lord with our hearts, with others and with our life. We must not take the passive road . The road to restoration takes work, love, perserverance and sometimes some tears and conflict. Yes, there is healthy conflict when it involves working through a situation do get to a healthier relationship. But, there is also an end to what we can do where we just know we have poured out in love, made the healthy attempts to get past unresolved hurts and toxic relationships and we must trust God for the end result.

Yes, believe it or not somethings must end in order to maintain a healthy mindset; not everything will always be resolved. Sometimes the resolve is the end of something if everything else has been attempted. This is when we must accept the things we cannot change. We can not change others or certain situations but we can change ourselves and we do have the Power within us to take those steps if we will lean on the strength of God within us to do so. We can! Yes, I know, it is much easier saying it than doing it. This is where we pray asking for courage and leaning our faith (stepping out of the boat).  There is a time to let go and let God; use the wisdom He has given through His word and Life to know when this should happen.

The sad thing is that most troubled relational issues occur in the midst of the trouble. Whether it is with one person or the other. Hurting people hurt others.  If we can regain focus with a clear and sound mind we can actually make a difference and work toward positive change within ourselves first and then perhaps the actual problem or relational issue that is distressed. Again, not everything can be resolved as we would like and sometimes it truly takes stepping away or stepping back for resolve.

I pray that as we walk through this journey of life we realize that if hurts are not healed they become toxins within us and cause destruction to the very relationships that are so important to us and valuable to God who is the Creator of relationships. Remember unity is from Christ and division; well you know the answer to that one. Most of the time the mission of the devil is to "divide and conquer". Don't let that happen (if you can help it) to those valuable and cherished relationships. Seek to unify them, restore them or at least bring them to a place of peace and functioning.

The good thing about being given a new day from God is that we all have the opportunity to seize the moment, change things or accept the things we cannot change, make things better, work toward healing through forgiveness, mercy and love; and truly embrace the present day as another gift from God to spend in this earth as if tomorrow was not to come.

Today, I pray that anything broken within a family, friendship, marriage, relational or life issue is restored if it is the will of God and if it is healthy to your life. . And, if you are saying, "That's impossible" well then look to Christ because with man things are impossible when we do things in our way.  But, With God (Matthew 19:26), "All things are possible"!  We must all take steps for this process to progress. Change and forgiveness is not easy but it is achievable if we simply glance at the love of Jesus, His forgiveness upon us and the love we once shared with those who have hurt us or whom we have hurt. Forgiveness sets us free from the pain and opens up the door to healing. Forgiveness frees the soul from the anguish it holds.

Parents, do not provoke your children to anger; and children honor your parents!

In the midst of so many emotions, differences and things that may have caused hurt to evolve into anger we must stop and look back to why we are hurt because this is the beginning of restoration. Look back to when the friendship or relationship (with a mother, a friend, a husband, a child etc.) was good and grab a hold of that for a new beginning! Its okay to agree to disagree. Its okay to have differences as long as we all understand that we can be unified even through diversity. We have to seek understanding and realize it is through change that we grow and develop while changing our thinking patterns and acquiring positive behavioral adaptations.

God bless us all with strength, courage, peace and love.

Standing with you on this journey,

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr

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