“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy”
Hebrews 12:14, TNIV
For me personally, someone in my face can be nasty and irritating. It seems I can never say enough. I simply don’t get any sense of having “convinced” them of my position or views. I maintain composure (I try, anyway) and then ignite when its all over.
Inevitably, I start playing the whole ugly argument over and over. Often, if I feel quite vulnerable, I will enlist my dear wife’s availability. She comes to my side, where I find the support I wanted.
Intense arguments can derail me from so much. Going to scripture in this frame of mind does me no good at all. When I’m in this place, prayer becomes unplugged (kind of like my exercise “treadmill.”) I sit in my chair and simmer, and occasionally boil over.
What do I need most?
- Gentleness, and sensitivity
- Pre-planning, or pre-alignment of my heart
- A sense of humor
- Renunciation of my “rights” and privileges
A lot of things could be added to my quick list, that would be helpful. Making cookies, or doing new chores also sort out things. If the issue is more mountain than molehill, find your way to an elder or a pastor. But whatever you do, it’s best to keep moving. So much is working to solidify you in one place. It’s like walking through wet cement! (It’s best not to linger too long, in one place.)
Know this though. Being in an argument or conflict is not sin. They may disturb us, but we don’t necessarily have to sin. Jesus had some whoppers in His day. He walked into these conflagrations without a diminishing of peace or joy. He walked out of them the same way. He can teach us, by showing us how He did it.
Just one more thing (I’m trying hard to write a essay here.) You don’t hear or read it very often–but, we all are models and examples to someone else. Our children, neighbors, friends, the bank teller and our gym instructor. Not that everyone knows of our issue, our frustration. But that our lives are filled with a “joyous humility.” I think what hurts me most is that I fear my witness or testimony has been damaged by my words and actions.
God is God of my everything. He knows what happened. He knows me, and knows them. The sin does not impede His vision of you. When he was on earth, he was never disturbed by any confict. Today, he is the same. Disputing with someone else– no problem. He doesn’t get loose and cut you down in embarassment. Brilliantly and lovingly, He absorbs all that concerns you. He is more gentle than you know and kinder than any man, or woman.