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UNCOMFORTABLE CONFLICT

Learning When to Take a Stand



Yesterday morning I took some time off of work to handle an issue you may have read about in previous posts. I was preparing myself for "the phone call" when there was a ruckus outside. My new neighbors were yelling, cussing, throwing household items out onto the sidewalk. Wagsley the wonder dog got very upset and tried crawling into my lap. He began whimpering and I thought, "I guess I'm going to have to protect you should we ever have a home intrusion." He was shaking and I found myself upset as well.


When I looked outside, their little girl was standing pressed against the wall with her hands over her face. My heart went out to her. I'm guessing mom and dad did this often. I said a quick prayer for her and monitored the situation from my upstairs viewpoint. I could see the parking lot where he was throwing stuff into the car, and all the way to the apartment below where she was tossing stuff onto the sidewalk. I have not met the couple yet, and they never smile at me when we pass downstairs and I say hello. I am wondering why their conflict has my stomach in knots.


Imagine Jesus with his arms around that little one pressed against the wall. It is all I can think about. Her whole young life has probably been filled with this kind of shouting. I can't even imagine how frightened she must be. Maybe because I've been there. I don't give into shouting, but I've been shouted at, cussed down and had my personal items trashed by someone else. It isn't worth the fight to me. I just want peace. Isn't that what we all want? I know it is what Wagsley prefers. Even after that the fight was done in public, he laid by my feet sighing heavily from time to time keeping an eye on the door. I took him outside and he walked close by my side and was very skittish. That is not like him at all.


Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Imagine Jesus speaking those words to the crowds around Him. I bet there was an incredible feeling of peace in that place. When you consider how many people were drawn to him you have to know that it was because he brought peace everywhere he went, not just healing. He is the God of peace. He had his moments of righteous indignation, but that example was so we could see that there is a time to take a stand. When children are being harmed, when God's word is being ignored, and wrong is being done, those are times to stand.


Jesus didn't tell his disciples to go out and overturn tables or pick fights, but he knew they would come up against religious opposition. He knew their biggest obstacle would be the religious leaders of their time. It wasn't conflict he was teaching, it was peace through strength. When you have the truth of God on your side, the battle is already won, so you can have peace that you are standing in the right. There is no need for conflict, just stand in the truth and be unshaken and at peace. There is such power there.


Imagine Jesus' peace whenever there is conflict. Remain true to the truth of His word and the peace of God will remain with you. You will know that you are standing for what is right. It may not be popular, but then God works through those who submit to HIM, not through those who cower and submit to what is popular. There is no victory when you surrender to the enemy.


Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."


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