Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...handling strife like the Velveteen Rabbit

Some people just have a need to argue everything. It doesn't really matter what it is about. If the color of the carpet is blue, they want it to be red. If everyone likes the movie, they think it was horrible. If the temperature is just right outside, they think it is too hot or too cold. No matter what the topic, they will try to argue just for the sake of arguing.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "Is there someone you have conflict with right now?" The top 2 answers were:

1. 42% responded and said they have conflict with someone in their family.
2. Another 42% voted and said that they are conflict-free right now.

Conflict. It happens everywhere. In the home. At school. At work. Yes, even at church.

The Bible does not condemn conflict, however, the Bible does give instruction on how to be more Christ-like and allow God to use strife in our life to mold us, strengthen us and change us.

People can have different opinions and beliefs. Different does not always have to mean "conflict". But there should also be a warning to us when people try to impart their different opinions on us, especially when it comes to faith and beliefs. We are not called to blindly accept everything that we hear, in fact, we should as Christians challenge things we hear that go against our understanding.

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11

Faith is not about blind acceptance. But it is certainly not about quarreling either. Quarreling can go beyond mere words and turn into physical fighting. There are ways that we can disagree while maintaining order.

I personally do not like strife. In fact, I will go to great lengths to avoid it. But sometimes the lesson  learned from strife is exactly what I need to sharpen my iron. In the book, The Velveteen Rabbit, the skin horse tells rabbit..

"Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you ... it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept."

Just like rabbit, we often times wish we could become "real" without uncomfortable things happening to us. But life just isn't like that. We must struggle, confront and engage fully in life if we are to become all that God has intended for us to be. Sometimes, along the way we become bruised, but with each bump and bruise, we become stronger.

Stronger in our faith and stronger in our walk with God!

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