Being the go-between on the Western Front of Rossiterville can be exhausting. Just when you think the battle is over and peace has been restored, fighting breaks out on another front. (I'm a teacher. Can you tell I am currently teaching about World War I?) However, the Bible has clearly laid out principles that can resolve the greatest of wars. Today, we are going to look at these principles using this phrase/acrostic, “Timely Restraint Unifies Chaotic Events."
Timely Restraint Unifies Chaotic Events
How often have I said, ”It is not what you say but how and when you say it?” What may have been fine to say to your sister a few minutes ago when her outfit was popping and her hair was all in place, may not be ok when the sweet tea has spilled all down the front of her. A comment of a teasing nature will not sit as well on the plate next to a tired or stressed out school day.
Knowing when and where to say something will go a long way in avoiding disagreements.
Holding your tongue when you really just want to blurt it out is a lifelong discipline. At every age, the struggle is real! Proverbs 25:28 says,
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”
“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will TEACH you everything and remind you of all I told you.”
What amazing solid ground we can stand on when we know that we have the companionship of a TEACHER with us at all times to guide us to know restraint and control.
What is the purpose of being both timely and using restraint in our words? If we lose sight of why we should behave in such a manner, then we will quickly get off course. Unity is not just a goal for Rossiterville, it is the will of God. Ephesians 4:3 stresses this point,
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
What a powerful verse! Here we find both a reference to the Spirit, where we are taught restraint and that it is a struggle, as we see in the usage of the word effort. Paul is encouraging the church at Ephesus that if they are going to throw their efforts into anything, make it be unity. Absence of unity means an absence of sweet relationships and peaceful days. I often remind my children that God has given them built-in best friends. How they speak and treat their siblings today will live on past this moment. They are investing in a lifetime of precious memories and bonds. Keeping this goal in front of them is not only an important endeavor for today but a paying-it-forward for generations to come.
This has been a good word for me during this pandemic. This current status is just an event. It is not the entirety of our lives. Sometimes in conflict, we are blinded to the fact that the current response or reaction doesn’t define the whole of a relationship or a person. We should willingly cover for each other. Everyone has an off day. All of us react in our flesh at times. Wars escalate when each aggression is handled with an attack mentality. Instead, we should be on a constant peace-making mission. 1 Peter 4:8 states,
“And above all things have fervent love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
Giving a pass to a friend, sibling, or stranger and laying a blanket of love over their offenses gives an opportunity for peace to continue.
A TRUCE is our goal. We need to cease from strife and fight for peace in our relationships and homes. Today, may be a wash with squabbles and offenses, but that is just an event. Tomorrow is another chance to see timely restraint that unifies chaotic events into something beautiful and full of peace.
How have you successfully handled conflict management in your home?
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