I’m not sure if it’s because we’re on summer break and maybe my kids have had to much time together but it seems they’ve been arguing and fighting more then normal. My husband jokes that he’s going to get me a ref shirt because of all the arguments I settle in a day. They argue over silly little things. Although to them it is a big deal and the emotions they feel are very real. My overall question to them when they argue is, “Is this how we should be treating our brother or sister?” I’ve notice the common root of the problem is usually selfishness. I’m trying to teach them to think about others first. It’s not an easy concept for them to want to be a part of. Human nature is naturally selfish. Only with the help of God’s Holy Spirit do we learn to “think of others as being better then ourselves.” (Phil. 2:3b)
It will be good to get back in the routine of school. That structure helps them know what is expected of them. They have less of a chance of getting into trouble because they are busy with schoolwork and not as concerned about their own agenda.
I think God needs a really BIG ref shirt. His children are constantly arguing with each other. Sometimes over silly things. Sometimes over big things but every time the people involved don’t feel like their argument is silly. They’re emotions are real. The pain and hurt that conflict causes is real. It deeply saddens me to see friendships end, families split apart, churches split and even nations go to war over differences we have with one another. Why are we so ready to pick up our armor and use it against each other. A couple years ago the Lord gave me a picture of a warrior in God’s army on the battlefield fully dressed in the armor of God. The warrior had two sets of gear for battle. One larger then the other. The larger of the two sets was the Lord’s armor and was gleaming silver. The smaller set was a reddish rust color and not a complete set. At times the warrior would fumble between the two gears. He/She would always have to put down God’s shield of faith when trading pieces. The warrior was not standing in battle ready position but was looking around on the ground at the gear and bent down to trade off. It was very ungraceful and uncoordinated. Although the Sword from God’s armor the warrior kept.
These are two sets of battle gear many of us Christians have. The silver one we know about because it’s God’s armor talked about in the bible. The second set is the gear we use when we go in battle against our fellow warriors, our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a smaller set because it is a weaker set but still has the power to hurt and do damage. It’s incomplete and doesn’t hold God’s power. We always have to put down our shield of faith when fighting against each other and don’t have God’s protection. We keep the Sword, the Word of Truth in our hands but we use it against each other and strike each other with it. This causes damaging blows in the family of God.
The armor of God gleams and shines His light. It’s crisp and clean. The reddish set is tainted and stained with the blood of past kills. The blood is rotting away the armor.
When we are picking up the other equipment or are trying to decide which piece to use, our eyes are off God. They’re not focused on the battle or the task at hand and we are very clumsy, uncoordinated and weak. We are not protected from the advancing enemy’s attacks and we do not posses grace.
This image gave me a clearer picture of how we may look when we are attacking each other in the body of Christ.
Yes, we have differences. We need to learn when to fight for those differences and when to agree to disagree. In any situation, we do want to stand up for biblical truths. We also need to know when to prioritize the relationship over the conflict. Will this truth set someone free or are we at a point of tearing each other down? Which will do the greater good? Which will give God more glory? Winning this battle or keeping this relationship? There is a time for each. Among all the other things we are pointing out that the bible says lets always remember it also says we should be loving and gentle to each other. Building each other up in the Lord. You may be right about the topic but wrong in the way you are handling it. Lean in to the Holy Spirit and He will show you what to do.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15