Do you ever have those times in life that you feel like conflict surrounds you? I mean, conflict at work, at home, in friendships, with relatives. Just conflict all around. I’ve been sitting in the middle of what felt like consistent and continual conflict and it is not a fun place to be for this enneagram 9.
Much like Matthew 5:23-24, I continually felt like I was walking to the altar in my heart with a gift and was reminded that my relative/co-worker/child/employee at Target had something against me so I had to go make it right with that person before I could talk with Jesus. So, really, I felt a deep need to people-please so God would be alright with me. A deep need to stuff my feelings and make sure everyone else was happy so I could talk to my Best Friend. That doesn’t really grasp the heart of the original text of relationship over religious ritual, does it?
I took it to the Lord and said, “I feel like I can’t even talk to you because so many people have so much against me. What do You have to say about that?” and so kindly He said, “I’m the one you sin against, not them. If you know that I forgive you, having them forgive you is a bonus.” And the pressure came off a little bit. The more I dug into His Words, the more I saw the full picture of His love for me. He cleanses me from all righteousness, not them. He makes me a new creation, without their permission. He tells me I can approach His Throne of grace with confidence. He desires a relationship with me, over religious rituals and He desires His Kids to be in peaceful, loving, healthy relationships.
In the middle of a conflict the other day, He reminded me about my grandmother’s old polaroid camera. My sister and I loved that thing growing up. We would take pictures of literally everything and would fan that polaroid back and forth to try to hurry up the developing process. Jesus said, “This conflict, this image you see could be perceived a certain way but it isn’t fully developed. Just give it more time. Don’t zero in on one aspect. Step back and ask Me for the full picture.”
Wisdom is seeing things from His perspective and I’ve found that asking for wisdom in conflict is my purest form of love for another.
So, maybe you find yourself in some conflict. Maybe you have picked up an offense, been hurt or feel misunderstood. May I encourage you today to take His Hand and lean into His heart for you. Whether you have wronged or been wronged, ask for forgiveness from Him for the offense and wait for the full picture to develop. It’s always more beautiful and more intentionally detailed than we could ever imagine.