We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.
Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge.
Extra Strength for Pressure Points: The Pressure of Conflict. (click to listen to the message)
I instantly felt a punch in my gut.
As I sat in church Sunday listening to Pastor Josh’s message, I realized we were talking about conflict. I immediately became uneasy because I am afraid of conflicts. Conflicts mean that something isn’t right between me and another person, and it could also mean the scariest part of it all: confrontation.
True, we could just bury our feelings and never bring it up, but you know what happens then.
As author Joseph Grenny says, you either find a way to talk it out or you act it out.
Talking about it, though, requires effort and some discomfort, if we’re being honest.
We become vulnerable.
We share our innermost insecurities.
Honestly, a lot of times, if not every time, it’s so much easier to place the blame on the person with whom you’re having the conflict. Can you think of the last time you were confronted or confronted someone and you willingly took all the blame? I can’t.
But one truth James tells us in chapter 4 is that it is on us. Conflict starts and ends with us. It’s the evil desires within us that wedge themselves into our relationships: jealousy, anger, pride. They all get in the way.
It’s only when we bring ourselves down from this pedestal and place Christ on it instead that we can see conflict is not about the other person and all the things they’ve done and said to us; it’s about what we have going on inside ourselves.
James 4:10 goes on to say “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
God wants us to build up other people. We can’t do that if we are all about ourselves. God also wants to mend the hurt places in our own hearts. When we bring to Him what’s going on inside ourselves, we open ourselves to His healing.
We win when the Spirit through us wins others over to Christ, when Christ’s mission wins inside of our hearts.
So come down on down from there, humble yourself and reap the blessings of submitting to the One who rules best from the throne.
- Right now, in whatever situation you find yourself balling up your hands and getting ready to throw the next punch — be it in the form of words or actions or reaction — ask yourself this:”Right here, right now, Lord, in this situation, how can I best be an ambassador of grace and reconciliation?”
Spend a few moments quietly sitting before the Lord as the Holy Spirit helps you form a response instead of a reaction.
- Ask God to help you understand what’s inside of your heart causing the conflict. Ask the Father to heal the root of the conflict in your own heart.