Why is it that family can sometimes bring out the worst in us?
Old habits that we thought for sure were long gone suddenly make a resurgence once we enter into the presence of those who have known us the longest?
Does the unity of the family threaten our enemy the most?
The sacred bond of Christian family- the power of our prayers raised together, and for each other.
And he wants to attack us, separate us, cause divisions. He feeds lies and misunderstandings- grudges.
Hoping to keep us apart- or to keep us doubting the love we have for each other.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Do we actively protect unity? In our homes, our churches, our work place?
We can be the peacekeepers- and not only that, we can be peace seekers.
What are you doing to foster unity- to encourage others to love and serve each other?
How do we respond to gossip about others in the church, within our family, in our work place?
It is never innocent. Gossip is a gateway to other sins- and focuses our minds on negativity, comparisons, and judgment. It is hard to love and interact with people with authenticity when we have been talking behind their back with someone else just moments or days before.
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
When evil or mean people are being successful around you, it is hard sometimes to keep silent. I struggled with this at my work place several times. Those in leadership over me were undermining the unity in my workplace- pitting some people against others- fostering distrust and divisions at every opportunity.
I wish that I would have turned to God’s Word for comfort more during that season of my life. Especially Psalm 37. What a comfort to me it has been, when I see people who are cruel succeeding or not bearing any negative consequences for their actions.
Hold tight to God.
Cling to the hope we have in Him.
Be diligent to live blamelessly before God. Do not let the environment that you are in pull you down into petty arguments and gossip. Pray and seek God, that you may be a witness to those around you.
In all relationships, there can be a tendency towards what many counseling texts call triangulation. Basically, it is gossip.
We talk to a family member or friend about someone else. We are basically trying to find out what that person is thinking or feeling without talking to them. We discuss what we think they should be doing or perhaps just speculate about their life choices.
Many times, though this may seem innocent, these conversations can be damaging. Talk to the person directly. Ask them what’s going on and pray for them. Take the risk that they may not respond well.
Or pray instead of talking to someone else. Prayer can be a much more fruitful way to intercede for someone that you care about.
Search your heart; seek God in prayer. Make sure that your intentions and motives are pure.
If you are not sure, err on the side of being silent. Words have so much power to hurt. Our tongues are fire- they can destroy rapidly if we do not keep a tight reign.
I have seen this in my own family- the potential for so much hurt and misunderstanding because we don’t talk to each other. We talk about each other with the rest of the family- but may fail to be honest in our interactions with those we love the most.
Let us be peace makers, peace seekers, peace bringers.
We need to have the courage to confront in love. Consider the hurt that we might cause by failing to act, or by talking with others and that person finding out.
We are either daily building peace and trust or we are undermining it. Prayerfully seek God about your conversations throughout the day and your thoughts about people.
Are they kind and edifying, or critical and evaluative? Perhaps even judgmental?
Do these thoughts lead you to lovingly having a conversation with that person, or only to thinking negatively about them and perhaps avoiding them? Do your thoughts disrupt the unity in your relationships?
Don’t let our enemy steal the joy of meaningful and deep relationships.
Don’t let him steal the joy of a peaceful and unified work place.
Fight for it. Forgive.
2 Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
The hallmark of God’s Kingdom is peace. Will you be one who seeks to bring God’s peace to earth today?
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Oh God, let us be those who bring peace. May your peace govern our hearts and minds and by your grace Lord, let us share that peace with everyone around us. Help us be diligent, through the leading of your Holy Spirit, to guard our tongues and be watchful for conversations or attitudes within us or around us that undermine unity. How amazing Lord, that we might experience a portion of your peace here and now- that you can bless us so abundantly with that perfect rest in you. As we step out in faith and trust- Lord, hold us firm. Strengthen and uphold us as we seek you. Change our hearts O God, may we be like you. By the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ- in His Name we pray, Amen.