There is a three step process for a happier, more loving, and fulfilled life with your family, friends, and church. The first step is getting rid of the offense/strife. The second step is finding a common cause to move forward in together. Where there is purpose and unity we can accomplish anything together. The third step is honor, seeing and calling out the good in others.
Let’s start with overcoming offense and strife. That is only possible if you CHOOSE to live free from these things. We need to make an all out war on offense and strife in our homes, and churches. War meaning, the battle you must commit to, inside yourself. We can not make others be non offensive. But we can release them to the Lord, and surrender our own hearts to Him. Choose today, to say no to offense and strife. Choose to be quick to forgive, and unoffendable. Titus 2:12 says God’s Word teaches us to say no to ungodliness. Therefore we know where to get truth that will drive out the lies that lead us into offense and strife. You may say,” how is it lies. That person really did act mean?”. Yes, I am sure they did, and many more to come may as well. But their meanness has no control over you, that you don’t give them. Jesus Himself determined to walk in love, yet many around him were offensive towards Him. Jesus is our model, and He also lives in us through His Spirit to empower us to walk the way He did. Your offense, is a defense mechanism, to protect your sense of value and identity. When you go to the Word, and develop an intimate relationship with the loving God revealed in the Word, you will begin to receive your value and identity from Him, not from others. When you meditate on scriptures telling you who you are to God, and who you are in Him, you can retrieve those truths right at the moment you feel that offense rising up. Stop, drop, and roll. Yep, it works here too. Stop those thoughts, drop to your knees (surrender to God), and roll in the truth of how much God loves you and how full of His love you are, and let those truths consume your heart. Quickly your emotions will be at peace and whatever you say will put out the fire, rather than stir up. One of the best books I have read on offense is The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere, Check it out. Literally, from the library. J
Second step to loving and unified relationships is finding a common cause. We see several examples In the Word of God of the power of unity in purpose. In the book of John, Jesus prays to the Father that the body of Christ would be one with each other, and with Him even as Jesus is one with God. Why? So that we can reveal God to this earth. Which means we will not complete our mission without love and unity, in our families and body of Christ. We see at the Tower of Babel, God Himself said, because they had unified in purpose that nothing they put their hearts to do would fail. Wow!!! That is powerful!! Unity works for good and bad. Therefore the enemy uses it as well. If you and your husband are in agreement daily that you will continue to accept the strife in your home, guess what? Nothing strife wants to do will be impossible. Kick it out now, and agree with God! Agree with love, and nothing Love wants to do in your family will be impossible. In the book of Nehemiah, we see another story of what unity can accomplish. Actually it is a good story for all three of these points. We see repentance of offenses, we see favor come to him, then a common cause, and honor that he continues to give. You too can rebuild the walls of your family, your church, or even of the larger body of Christ, even as Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
The third step is honor. You will only become consistently unoffendable, if you on purpose become the one who brings honor to each situation. Honor is an outpouring of love and humility in your own heart. Ugh, did I say humility? Yes, humility is a stronghold for our Christlikeness. Everything that we are, we are in Christ. We are presented holy and blameless in Him, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We are only fallible human beings, apart from Christ. The greatest step of humility we can take is to come to God each day, to His Word, to worship Him, and lay ourselves before Him to honor, praise and allow Him to do what He wants in us. When you do this, it creates greater humility in you towards others. Because you know where your strength comes from, and without Him you would be a much different person. Stop coming to God praising yourself, wanting yourself built up. Come to Him to worship Him, and your flesh will die and your spirit will be built up. Then when something comes to your mind that is negative about someone else, choose on purpose to think and speak a positive thing about them, behind their back and in front of them. Sometimes we think if we praise someone who is screwing up, then we are enabling them to keep screwing up. Those of us who have experienced that, have a real issue with control. Yep, we think we are somehow in control of this person’s destiny. Let them go, to God, and start doing what God does towards them, and you will really affect their destiny. Let your love be revealed to them, and honor them. Love never fails, but control, manipulation, fear, and criticism always fails. If you walk a life of honor, then God may at times have you speak something to someone, in love. Do you know how to know if that is what Is happening? A good way to tell if God is really telling you to do that, is to check your heart. Is it gushing with compassion for that person? Are you hurting for the place they are in? Is that really your first thought, or the one you bring up to excuse your judgment? Take that issue to God, saying “God do you see what they are doing?” I remember something God told an author Francis Frangipaine. “Yes, Francis I see that, and I gave my life for them. Now go do the same”. That is honor at it’s best.
I have an excitement that those who set themselves on this track, will be tremendous ambassadors for Christ, revealing God’s great love to those around them and shifting the attitude, moods, and atmospheres around them. This is when the Kingdom of God will spread to every nook and cranny of this earth, and we will see even greater works of God on this earth. by Lisa Winchell