Tag Archives: patience

Is Peace in Every Human Relationship Possible?

I was recently watching a TV show and saw a character, a grown man, who was talking about his list of “mortal enemies.”  The comical part was the reasons the man had that led them to get on his list.  One “enemy” was a TV character he idolized who failed to make a scheduled appearance the man had attended as a child.  Another was “on the list” for opening the package of a collectible toy that apparently was valuable.  The reasons this guy had “enemies” was not because they committed some atrocious act against him; in many cases the reason had practically nothing to do with things the “enemy” had done but was instead about his reaction and his pettiness.

Shortly after this I read Proverbs 16:7, which says: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”  That’s powerful!  Implicit within this verse is the idea that there is peace in all relationships, even those relationships which humanly you cannot imagine being peaceful.  According to Matthew chapter 5, when we, as believers, remember that our brother has anything against us, we are commanded to make reconciliation.  Immediately following, we are also instructed to agree with our adversaries quickly.  These verses put the onus on us, not the other person in the relationship!  We are commanded to consider whether someone has a problem with us and, may I add, when we have a problem with someone.  We are told to take the steps necessary to reconcile and to do so quickly.  Few of use regularly practice step one; and I fear even fewer even consider step two!

Inspection

Most of us rarely stop to evaluate our human relationships.  We may look at our marriage or our family, but, assuming we do even this, we almost never evaluate our workplace relationships or our friendships.  It’s as if we think things are unchangeable.  Are there regular conflicts with others in your life?  When you do recognize a conflict or strained relationship, do you think things like “so long as he works here it will always be like this” or “I wish those people would just find another church” or “why does my spouse always create problems?”

Introspection

When we are dealing with issues in any relationship, especially with people we’ve never gotten along with, the tendency is to complain about and blame them.  Our first reaction should be inspection, followed immediately by introspection.   What should you and I do?  Look inward and see if “our ways please the Lord.”   Biblically speaking, this our duty.  Are you living life according to God’s commands?  Are you exercising patience, love, and forgiveness towards others?  Have you taken affirmative steps to mend relationships, even when you think you weren’t in the wrong?

The Exception

Bible study reveals that sometimes there are times when Satan attacks Christians, but contentions and strife generally are of our own creation.  Our biggest mistake is not that we fail to realize there is conflict or a lack peace; our mistake is often that we want to blame it on “the Devil” when it likely is “our ways” that need examining. Don’t try use the exception as an excuse to avoid inspection and introspection.

In Proverbs chapter 3, God tells us that the ways of the wise are “ways of pleasantness” and “paths of peace.”  Does this describe all of your human relationships?  We can claim God’s promise of peace but only after we have look inwardly and know that we are living our life in a way that pleases the Lord.  With God, peace in every human relationship is possible.

Article by Bryan Likins

@bmlesq

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I Want It NOW!

Like it or not, if you are an American you have more than likely seen the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. From chocolate rivers to disturbing, little orange men, Willy Wonka no doubt yielded some interesting characters! One such character was a spoiled little girl named, Veruka Salt. Her quest for a “golden egg laying goose” within the walls of the famed Chocolate Factory eventually led to her demise ( … or dismissal … or, whatever happened). Her enabling father went as far as to say that he would get her this magic goose — just not at the time she wanted. One musical score and awkward dance later, Veruka’s last words would be, “I want it NOW!”

You may be thinking about how stupid that illustration was, but I said all that to say this: We live for INSTANT gratification! 

One word that is always brought up to counter this problem is PATIENCE … But does it really do any good when a majority of people have absolutely NONE of it? To make matters worse, even if you wanted more patience, you have to pay a hefty price for it!

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. – James 1:3

I remember someone used to always tell me to pray, “Lord, help me to handle today as IF I HAD PATIENCE…” That Jedi mind trick might work on a 5 year old, but not the Almighty God of the Universe. There are no ways around the trying and chiseling hand of God simply by cornering Him with semantics. So what do we do?!

The first step, and possibly the hardest, is to completely REPROGRAM Your Thinking. In a world where we wait for nothing and no one, and where SPEED is the most desired attribute, a total REPROGRAM is quickly becoming harder and harder to achieve. Remember what the book of Philippians tells us however:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: – Philippians 2:5

And let’s not forget Romans 12:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2

It truly comes down to you WANTING to make the jump! You ever talk to a PC user on the fence about switching to Apple? See if these computer questions and statements sound familiar in a Christ follower’s quest to live right:

I’ve just been doing this for so long…
I would have to start from scratch and relearn everything…

(After the purchase…)

I wish I would have done this sooner!
I am never going back …

If we made some ACTUAL strides towards change, we would be shocked I think to see how big of a difference that it makes! Why? Well, look at what happens when you actually let God try and test you instead of blowing up or running out to consume things upon your selfish lusts:

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – James 1:4

You will never have patience unless you patiently wait for it … (Oxymoronic, right?) In doing so, God promises to fill you up to the point to where you could not possibly want anything else!

People, we have GOT to learn how to just stop and CHILL! Any of you ever been stuck in a waiting room? Of course you have, as a famous comedian once said, “there is no chance of not waiting, thats the name of the room” (Brilliant). Time sure goes by a lot quicker when you find that perfect magazine, right? A REPROGRAMMED MIND is the good magazine in the waiting room of life!

Do you want it NOW? Of course, but you cant have it! We need to start telling ourselves that…

Change your thinking. Accept the tuning. Reap the blessings.

Article by Kevin Crozier

@kevcrozier

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Bio — David Wagner

The World From My Perspective

God graciously allowed be to be saved at the age of five. I went forward in a service at Highland Park Baptist Church, and Dr. Lee Roberson came down from the pulpit to talk to me. My parents had already laid a foundation in my heart, and I was ready to accept Christ.

My work for God began in ninth grade on the bus routes of Shawnee Baptist Church. God gave me the privilege of working the same route for seven years. During my last year at Shawnee Baptist College, I was asked to begin pastoring the New Hope Baptist Church of Crestwood, Kentucky. Starting at twenty-two you can believe I was shaking behind the pulpit for many years. God taught me many lessons during the seven years I pastored there. God also gave me a wife in my fifth year.

I was on track to Pastor at New Hope till I died, or until God moved me. God, however, had different plans. The lessons pastoring a small country church were many and hard. His blessings were also many and helpful. After fourteen years of service God allowed be to begin the early stages of Dystonia. A disorder unknown to many, but prevalent in my family. Preaching and teaching four times a week, visiting members, and working a full time job became just too much.

God led my family back to the Church we grew up in Beth Haven Baptist Church of Sheridan, Michigan. God provided a full time job, and service opportunities at the Church. I ran the Sunday School department, taught the College class, and wrote the material for the elementary departments. During this time my ability to work full time began to decrease. It was a start of a life of loss; a life of disability. Not long after I was let go from my full time job due to health concerns; I had to also quit my Church responsibilities.

It was during this time that God allowed some sermons I had preached to be published in the book: Overwhelmed by the Storms? This was God’s way of letting me reach people even though He was about to take a lot more from me. It was not long until God took even the ability to go to Church away from me. I spend my days in my office looking for opportunities to be a blessing.

God has taken a lot from me, but He has not removed the call from ministry from me. My life of service has led me to this point. Every day I served Him was bringing me to this place. Every test of faith hardening me for the task He has called me to.

I see the world through eyes different from a lot of people. In a way, God has used disability to enable me to edify those who are facing adversity. I can reach many in a way that others can not. I have coded, and I came back. I have been told: ‘There is nothing we can do.’ I have been told, ‘It is hopeless.’ I have had life’s most normal things taken from me. This is not because we serve an unjust God, but rather His way of making me a better tool for Him to use.

The uniqueness of this blog is that God has molded each of us in a different way. We are like a bunch of clubs in a golf bag. We each have a place in the game where we work the best, but we all support one another to win the game. I look forward to being used by God. God has denied the request for healing, and instead given me a desire to be used. May God bless you.