Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To flee or not to flee - Living in community

Getting along is hard, or is it just me? I find myself in a constant struggle with my inner feelings towards some, who I have been called to walk with. I think I am the only one who struggles with this issue. I see others who are so skilled at letting go and moving on. I also see others who say that they let go, but don't and carry anger, and resentment towards me or someone else that clouds their relationship with God. This is an issue that I struggle with daily. I want to be genuine. I want to be honest ALWAYS! It's hard though, because for whatever reason there is a lot of silence in community. People are afraid (myself included) to speak to someone about an issue, even when scripture says we should.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought 1 Corinthians 1:10

This is only a couple of examples of how we are to live with each other. I'm also reminded of the verses in Acts:

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

Unbelievers saw the love these people had for each other and wanted that. Sadly today there is not always much love shown in community. There is anger, resentment, frustration, manipulation, but mostly SILENCE.

This post was prompted by a quote in an article I'm reading that states:
"Running away from conflict is never the answer. "growth is dependent on staying and DEALING with stuff, not fleeing. There's a lot of infidelity in society that's rooted in our lack of commitment to particular people in particular places. And stability is a call to learn how to STAY in ways that are healthy."

As I read this quote I thought about what people flee from: Relationships, Marriage, Churches, Jobs, etc....
And also staying does not mean putting up with, but (did you see it) DEALING with stuff. Don't put on a happy face like everything is honkey dorey when things aren't. That is not truth and that is not dealing with stuff. Working through issues takes guts and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. But God wants us to live together in harmony, that means that it can happen if we focus on him and come together in humility.

Finally Ephesians 4:25-27, 29-32 says:
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold....Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

With man this is not possible, but with God ALL things are possible, so I continue to lay my struggle at his feet, hoping not to pick it up again.

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Beth in NC said...

That is a hard pill to swallow Kim. I seem to have the most trouble with people who are Christians who hurt me. It is easier to get over unfair or harsh treatment from a non-Christian, but when a Christian stabs you in the back -- ouch.

It is definitely easier to hide than face the pain, but we grow in the midst of facing the pain and the people who hurt us.

Mari said...

Sounds like a really good article. I know sometimes I'm tempted to run or just bury my head in the sand and hope some issues go away, but that never works.
I like that you emphasized dealing with it, not just putting up with it.

Nate and Brenda said...

Nate and I talk a lot about this same thing.

Satan hates relationships and wants them torn apart.

I have learned in the last year that while it is hard to face someone that you have wronged it is much better to talk about it and ask forgiveness. It is so freeing.

Silence and avoiding the issues NEVER does any good.

Shelly said...

Wow! Good post. We are all suppose to love our "neighbors" but, what about the people who do you wrong over and over and over and over and are not Christians and only seeking out their own benefit? I have struggled for years with certain family members. I have learned that it is better to just let them live their life and I live mine.
Loved your post a lot.

Carol said...

This is a really interesting post. I have a friend who 'deals' with everything and although the road is rocky for a while, once it's all sorted life is good again.
I'm abit more of a 'bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away' person, but if it doesn't then it must be dealt with.
Like Nate and Brenda says - satan hates relationships and it's probably true to say that this needs to be continually remembered so that we can approach each other with the love of Christ. When we're hurt by Christians then I think a move of the Holy Spirit to help us forgive is much more needed than when a non-christian hurts us.
This is such an interesting post and really thought provoking.
Thanks for sharing and sorry for rambling on.....
Bless you

Kathy S. said...

Kim, excellent post! Doing the hard thing in obedience is such a good thing. I wrote a recent post about Jesus priority for UNITY. His last request before going to the cross.

Satan works to destroy relationships because he wants to destroy God's glory...they will know we are Christians by our love. When we are divided, we eclipse God's love.

Press on!

Bethany said...

Thanks for writing about this, I too am often faced with relationship issues! I've discussed it a lot in my blog.
Thank you, Bethany

Bethany said...

It sounds like you are doing some great studies. Thanks for sharing!

Connie said...

A very good post. As I speak for myself - sometimes I want my way or the highway. Which my Savior is not pleased with me when I have this attitude. There are some situations that I and someone else will never agree on so I try to just let it be. People don't always have to agree with me even when I have a scripture all picked out for them to read and therefore show that I AM RIGHT. Sometimes we just have to remain quiet and let them see it for themselves and work it out in their own time. (That is the hard part - I would like to barge right in.) If I have tried to make it right with someone and they don't agree or accept what I say, I try very hard to just step back and let God work it out in my life as well as the other person. Does that make any sense? That is what works for me.