1. Don’t assume people know you have been hurt, offended or insulted. Family, friends and associates are at the top of the list. There is a good chance the source of the conflict is either a misunderstanding, a miscommunication or misbehavior. Whatever it is, don’t “miss” the opportunity to make things right. People are often oblivious to how their actions have affected you. If you can’t overlook the offense, kindly make the offender aware of your perspective. They may become defensive at first but the more you talk it through and make them aware of how it made you feel, the more likely they are to want to make amends. Not always, but most often.
2. Some people don’t care but most people really don’t desire conflict. Peace is preferred by the majority. So much as it depends on you, be a peacemaker. Take the initiative towards peace. Your willingness to seek peace will pay big dividends towards unity and harmony.
3. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Someone will ruffle your feathers. Choose to overlook and forgive or choose to seek resolution and forgive regardless of the outcome. Failing to forgive holds you hostage and denies you freedom. Otherwise, the other person controls you and holds you captive.
4. You may not be able to be at peace with others but you can be at peace with yourself knowing you have made every effort to be at peace. Don’t pretend you’ve tried your best. You know in your heart of hearts if you are holding out. But once you have given it your best, only you will know, then move ahead never closing the door for peace to return.
5. Peace today doesn’t guarantee peace tomorrow. Peace takes effort. No one is perfect. Peace is fragile. Maintaining the peace will likely require a bit of compromise but it will be worth it. It may require a piece of you in order to gain peace. It doesn’t have to be your way in order to be peaceful. To keep the peace you will likely have to accept the fact that you can’t change people but you can change you and your perspective.
6. Separation is a last resort. Sometimes you simply have to walk away from unteachable repeat offenders in order to find peace. Be careful not to walk away or to give up too soon. Even the best relationships aren’t always peaceful.
7. The bottomline? Peace is a state of mind. You can experience it no matter the circumstances because peace is found from within not from without.
Remember, when it comes to peace, you can make it and you can break it but you can’t fake it.
I walked away from a serious car accident yesterday. Other than an air bag burn on my hand, I am physically sound. Other than reliving the crash in my sleep, time and again, last night, I’m moving forward and not looking back in the rearview mirror.
It has been tough for us the last few days and years. We don’t understand why it has been so difficult but we do know he is with us.
It is a counter intuitive perspective. He is with us, as things only seem to get worse outwardly. Inwardly, we are strengthened and renewed.
We some how expected things to be easier by now but it seems things are still harder than they need to be.
Yet, we feel stronger than we were before. The weights on the rack are heavier but the muscles we build, through endurance, can now handle the load, given the presence of his strong right hand!
He never promised life wouldn’t be hard. He did promise to be with us and help us through it. The hardest of all is the thought of doing it without him. He is with us, loves us and considers us precious.
And for now, we carry on!
The passage below is a great reminder for me just 24 hours after the crash as we navigate the difficulties of deep waters.
“… listen to the LORD who created you … the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One … your Savior. I gave … a ransom for your freedom… you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”
I feel lucky to be alive. A total of 5 vehicles were involved. Thankfully, no one was hurt. No citations.
After the accident two ladies approached me and put things in perspective.
The lady in the BLESSED shirt said, “You are blessed. You walked away and weren’t rolled away. You can get another truck. You can’t get another life. Your wife has her husband and your babies have their daddy.”
Thank God for heavenly and ordinary angels. That is the best full coverage any guy could hope for.
Counting my blessings today.
Let me know if you know anyone who might be interested in a slightly used Silverado. Sure glad I had a grill guard. It comes with the truck!
It is fair to say I am living up to my motto, BE DANGEROUS! Notice the rearview mirror.
We often believe we are waiting on God but clearly, it is he who waits on us.
If only we will ask for help, he will surely respond.
If waiting is then necessary, it is based strictly on his perfect timing.
Faith is always required in order to please him. Waiting serves as the simmering pot for faith.
What are you waiting on?
What do you need to ask and trust the Lord for?
He is waiting to show love and compassion for he is faithful to those who call on him and believe he is willing to answer.
So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. – Isaiah 30:18-21
Have you been wronged, deceived, betrayed or let down by family and friends?
King David can relate. While he accomplished much in his life and was the most beloved king of all, he had more than his fair share of disappointment, discouragement and despair. The frown on his face was often brought about by the actions of those closest to him.
We get a glimpse of one of his best life lessons when he poured his heart into Psalm 37.
He learned to quit giving the naysayers, wrongdoers, wicked, betrayers, deceivers, connivers and crooks the time of day. Quite frankly, he learned to move on.
He shares that when we do, the so called “sticks in the mud” will begin to fade away and become a distant memory when we decide to delight in the Lord and trust in him.
As we focus on the desires God has placed in our hearts, rather than dwell on the past offenses, we are free to move ahead and regain our joy for living.
The key is to commit everything, every single aspect of our lives, to him. When we trust him, he will help us. We can go it alone or we can invite him into the challenges by asking for his assistance.
That’s right, the creator of the universe, because he delights in every detail of our lives, is standing by to lend a hand, pitch in and direct our steps. Wow! We simply need to be still and wait patiently for him to act.
It sounds easy but waiting on the Lord is hard when you are prone to take matters into your own hands. The temptation is to get impatient, upset and even angry about the timing and the circumstances.
Have no fear, the Lord is near! No need to be upset. In due time, the wrongdoers will be marginalized. Put your hope in the Lord and continue to travel steadily along his path.
Focus on what God is doing not what they have done! Living the great adventure need not be hindered by a false start or a party pooper.
You might stumble, you might stub your toe and even make a few ill advised decisions, but you will not fall. You will not fail. He simply delights too much in your love for him to let you come up short.
Don’t worry about the wrongdoers. Let them go. Release them into their cesspool of demise.
As for you, look ahead and take hold of the ride of a lifetime that you are living. Come what may, you are on your way to better things! It’s time to move on!