God’s Word has everything we need. It is truth. It offers wisdom, hope, life-giving understanding, and timely and fresh insights. It also has some hard lessons, guidance, and consequences and warnings. It even occasionally convicts us. Sometimes we don’t even like to admit it. I know I’ve struggled a bit when I’ve turned to the Word and it convicted me instead of justified me.
In any case, it’s God’s heart right there in black and white, bound in love. The great news is that, even sometimes in just an instant, we can be drawn back into His will when we reach for His heart which is in His Word.
I was about to be sucked into a newly-heated flare-up of an old argument with a very close loved one. This person happened to be excellent at pushing my get-angry-quick button. This particular argument had a well-worn path and the steps for anger and resentments were already laid out. Although it had worn out its welcome, for some reason, I found it so easy to dive right in again. I simply hated the all-too-predictable outcome, but I forged ahead anyway in making my complaints heard because I felt justified in trying to make the other person realize that I was right! I was starting to see the ugly pattern emerge and said a quick prayer under my breath for help.
“God, please help me.”
It was all I could utter though the anger that was starting to boil inside my heart.
I stepped away from the situation for a few quick moments. I just needed to make a little room for God to get involved with this thing and help me get to a different outcome. I was getting desperate. Otherwise, I’d be on the same path as I’d been on before with this person and the degradation of the relationship would be well underway. I realized that this same old flare-up could become a serious wound if something about it didn’t change.
Of course, I would rather the other person change, but I’ve heard story after story about how it’s just fruitless to hope the other person changes. I recall hearing a funny quote about how “Expecting the other person to change always makes for a really interesting first marriage.”
Still unwilling to be the one to budge, I thought maybe God would know how to fix this. Just maybe, God would be able to work a small miracle with my attitude, too. Who knows?
From the privacy of the bathroom (I know, that’s really dignified of me, but hey, I was desperate), I pulled out my phone and started frantically scrolling randomly through the New Testament in hopes some amazing wisdom would jump out at me.
Wouldn’t you just know it.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not labor in vain.– Philippians 2:14-16
The WHAT: Stop grumbling and arguing.
The WHY: so that I could become blameless and pure.
The WHY: so that I could be the child of God who is without fault (even though the generation might be warped and crooked).
What THEN: when we do, we will shine like stars in the sky
Although the WHAT seemed simple but difficult, the WHY is what really caught my attention. So that I may become blameless and pure. There is a way here that we can put ourselves in a spot where we can be within God’s will…and blameless. I wanted to be blameless in my interactions with others. By abandoning the complaining and arguing part of my efforts in this conversation, I wanted to leave space enough for God to get His Word in edgewise.
Not to say that I am willing to be a doormat or not willing to uphold some healthy boundaries. Not at all. It’s more a matter of letting go the need for justification or to feel like I am recognized as the “right” one. When we drop the complaining and arguing part of the conversation, we can move on to what the ultimate vision is: a healthier way of relating. Are we trying to be heard? Are we trying to ask for something different? Are we trying to hear what the other person is saying and make a move toward agreement? Can we respectfully disagree for now? Are we trying to see more through God’s eyes of what loving this other person looks like?
I wanted to love in the ways that God designed us to love. I wanted to overcome this same old worldly draw for justification and the need to be right, and find a new, better way to love and relate.
God’s heart is in His Word. When we put His Word into our hearts, we put His heart into our hearts. Let’s get some of His heart in ours. We will then be able to see our old situations in a new, helpful, and hopeful way.
Melody Baran is the #1 Bestselling Author of The Porpoise Driven Life, an inspirational book on finding our purpose and place in God’s wonderful plan. You can find more inspirational insights like this one throughout The Porpoise Driven Life, available at: https://www.amazon.com/Porpoise-Driven-Life-Uplifting-Guiding/dp/1950995062/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=