Today is election day, and everyone is talking about it. Well, go here if you want more dialogue about it. I’m convinced it’s not the only thing going on in the world today, and would rather talk about something else.
Why is it that my pastor always seems to preach on exactly what I need to hear at that exact moment? Truthfully, it’s rather annoying. Especially when he ends up saying that change needs to happen within me.
This week was part 5 in a series from Matthew 5. The verse for the sermon was 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”.
So the pastor went on to talk about conflict. Of course. We’ve been talking about conflict, forgiveness, and reconcilliation since I joined the church in January. It’s been fabulous, and life-shaping, yet a tad annoying. Read: KJ only wants change that is easy, and wants to believe that she has everything under control.
What Matthew 5 is saying, is that when there is conflict, peacemaking may require some serious humbling on my part and acknowledgment that something in me needs to change. Ugh. I would really much rather just put everything on the other person, believing that the whole problem would be solved if they would just be different. What I appreciate about our pastor is that he gave relevant stories from his own life, revealing his own flaws and struggles with conflict. His “hypothetical story” about conflict with his next-door neighbor, revealed his own desire to place the blame entirely on someone else. Yet, because of a gracious God, he was able to see that by admitting his part and lovingly approaching the neighbor about the conflict, Christ is honored and revealed. 1. Glorify God 2. Get the log out…..of your own eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s (Matt. 7:3-6) 3. Go to the person…..in love and point out their part 4. Go…..a 4th ‘G’ that I can’t remember, but am sure it was just as important as the other 3.
So in my current conflicts (of which there are a ridiculous amount of. I’m wondering if they exist because of the current focus on reconcilliation and I’m being given opportunities to practice what we’ve discussed, or because my life is seriously just that….conflicted) step one is to focus simply on glorifying God in relationships. As I’m figuring that out, I’ve got to look at myself and how I can admit my part in these relationship conflicts. I think I’ll be stuck on that one for awhile. And yes, I’m thinking of a particular conflict. I really don’t have it in me to think that there is something I could be doing different, but maybe that’s the point. After that – it’s approaching the person?? That is simply too much to ask. Yet another glorious reminder of how gracious our God is, and how desperately I am in need of Him.