Dealing with difficult times and difficult people can fertilize our growing faith if we plant ourselves in God’s unfailing Word.
My natural perception when confronted with obnoxious behavior has had me emulate “love toward others.” This train of thought can be manifested in unhealthy ways when the wisdom of God is not followed. An untamed heart or spirit defies spiritual gravity, as rebellion seeks to pull us away from the stability of peace and cast us into chaos.
Yet, we can learn to navigate peacefully as the Holy Spirit shows the way to respond in everyday life situations.
What I have perceived as love in my interactions with others has prompted me to seek God as I attempt to rationalize how I should act/react as a Christ follower. The only real way to know how to handle most situations properly is to search scripture. (Galatians 5:7-26)
From Old Testament to New Testament our weak flesh wants an easy answer.
Matthew 10:34-38 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.
When I researched the word “cross” in this scripture, Strong’s Concordance definition stated it as “an upright stake”
I am reminded of a boundary stake, a fence line.
The sword of the Lord, God’s Word cuts through our excuses and cuts away the unnecessary to expose the root of our affections and the base of our actions.
John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he take the away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
In my natural understanding, love looks sweet, giving, turning the other cheek, etc.. yet righteousness requires obedience. My flesh seeks to excuse and to be excused. We are not to cater to the wicked or the wicked one. Our actions must mirror our understanding of God. Lest we and they be deceived into thinking that God is like mere man. God is just and a Holy God who does not wink at our or their agreement with the wicked one. (James 1)
If you struggle with being permissive as I have, I encourage you to pray this prayer with me. Learning to love ourself and others, places healthy boundaries that are reinforced by God’s word.
Father God, I ask that you open my eyes of understanding. That you would enable me to stand firm in your truth. Father God that I will not be moved by that which I hear or see that would attempt to move me from my focus and obedience in Christ Jesus.
LORD grant us strength for our earthly journey. Anoint us LORD. May we be rooted and grounded in your Word. May we be well able to successfully and with joy, do that which you have called and anointed us to do, to walk in love with ourselves and others. Help us to trust you LORD with all our heart, to lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways to acknowledge you and you shall direct our paths. In Jesus name, Amen
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Scripture references taken from the KJV
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