Conflicts Are Hard
Conflicts are hard. Usually, no one wins. The only one who walks away happy is Satan. I don’t know about you, but I hate conflict and confrontation. Yet it is part of our lives under the sun. We live in a world in chaos because of Satan and sin, so I suppose conflict is not surprising.
In order to live peaceable with all men, especially our brethren and families, look at what the Lord said.
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44, NKJV). Why? “That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45, NKJF).
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12, NKJV).
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matt. 5:41, NKJV).
When Peter asked the Lord how often to forgive, the Lord said, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18: 21-22, NKJV).
Now, just think about what the Lord said for a minute. If we want to be like the Father, we must value our enemies, speak well of them, and pray for them. Is that easy? No. Is it impossible? No. For those who want to be like the Father, it is not even a question of difficulty. We do it so we can be like Him.
Again, if we want others to cut us some slack, then cut them some slack. We do not give what they want, we give what they need. We do it because that is what we want from them. We want grace. We want mercy. We want longsuffering.
Further, someone said, “The second mile is the loneliest mile.” We may be accompanied that first mile, but the second mile gets to be too much. But the Lord carried us--and still carries us. He has not stopped to complain about how heavy we are. He has not dropped us because He got too tired. He has never spoken in anger or from malice because we hurt Him. He did not just go the first or second mile; He is still walking with us.
Finally, God’s forgiveness is without limits. The only limit to God’s forgiveness is our heart. He never says to us, “Look, I am tired of forgiving you over and over.” He forgives and forgives. Do we have to forgive? No, we don’t have to. But if we want forgiveness, then we will be forgiving without limit.
Conflicts can be resolved if we just do what the Lord said. He resolves it with us. He gave His son so that we could have access to Him. Our forgiveness cost Him a lot. So what am I willing to pay to resolve conflict? Am I willing to be like the Father?