Sunday, August 30, 2015

Being Misunderstood

Human relationships can take a lot of work and sensitivity to others feelings -- but it's worth it in the long run.

Even between saints, personalities can collide, often with those we care about. Each conflict should teach us something new to help us to grow in Christ, although the lessons may be very uncomfortable. To some, it may seem easier to just walk away rather than take the time to work things out. But that would be surrender to the devil's scheme to divide and conquer.

Single people may have a hard time relating to married friends. If a married woman confides to a single girl about her struggles, the girl might think to herself, 'well, at least you have someone to help you in life.' Or in reverse, if the single girl shares her woes of finding the right man, the woman may think, 'well at least you are free to do what you want without a man to tell you what to do.' The grass is always greener comes into play.

Years ago, I shared a testimony with a friend about how the LORD chastised me when I started to go astray. Through a major health crisis, the LORD stopped me in my tracks before I could make a choice that would have potentially shipwrecked my faith. Through the trial He exposed the nature of a man I was getting too close to. My fellow single friend didn't react like I thought she would. 
Instead of rejoicing with me, she looked all sad and said, "I wish God cared enough about me to show up in my life. He is just silent when I fall into sin." She read into what I was saying that God cared about me but not for her. I in no way meant it that way.

Another friend complimented me on how my grown kids turned out, telling me I must have raised them right. I tried to give the glory to God, but in so doing I inadvertently was saying that since her kids turned out troubled, God cared for me more than her - or heard my prayers for my kids while hers went unanswered. I in no way was making any such comparison, but that's how it was taken. 

We saints are not in competition with each other. We're all in this together. We each have unique struggles and weep over different things than our Christian friends do. One might have financial success, while another can't pay their bills. The former might have a rocky marriage and the latter a loving one -- but Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith and customizes our circumstances for our benefit (Romans 8:28).

Let's put up with each other and pray over our friendships. Be at peace.

"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load." - Gal 6:2-5

"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will." - 2 Tim 2:22-26

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