Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Recently my son was presented with an impatient and assuming attitude by an adult and his question was “why do adults think teenagers are so bad?”. My response was that most people are not well equipped in their hearts to assume the best about people. I went on to explain that this is born out of fear or over protection of something and, in his example, their reaction had less to do with what he was doing at the time and was more about issues in their own lives. Continue reading “Assuming the Best”
The methods Jesus used in resolving conflicts and those taught in the Old Testament seem to be at variance. The Jewish traditions defined the resolution of conflicts in terms of equal reciprocity, i. e. an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It clearly frowned on escalating the conflict with more severe measures than was originally meted out.
Before writing this message I took a tour through the Old Testament to see if there was any form of encouragement or command requiring a person to forgive his offender. Although there were abundant references of God’s forgiveness of man, the only time forgiveness was specifically mentioned between persons was when Jacob pleaded with Joseph that he forgive his brothers. There are illustrations of forgiveness such as Esau and his apparent forgiveness of Jacob. I have had to conclude that forgiveness of others is primarily New Testament principle linked totally to and enabled by the redemptive work of the cross. Continue reading “Resolving Conflicts”
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Few people who suffer from victim tendencies would like to be free, mainly because of their inability to admit to themselves that their victim-hood is ultimately destructive in their lives or that it exists. Consequently they are doomed to live out their lives without the freedom they could get from Christ or until they come to the place of realization. Continue reading “Rising Out of the Slough of Victim-hood”
None of us can avoid or prevent conflicting situations with others all of time. There are many times we would much rather vent our anger toward others who have been offensive than to choose responsible and Godly behavior in its stead.
The world’s philosophy is to deal with such conflicts through retaliation with an “eye for an eye” type approach. That viewpoint was what Jesus was addressing when he said:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:38-42).
Continue reading “Responding Graciously”