Daily Devotional for Saturday January 18, 2003
Open and Honest Conversation Can Solve Many Problems
(Proverbs 16:24, 25:11, Job 6:25)
Open and honest conversation can solve many problems. By far, the cause of most conflicts between people is a lack of open and honest conversation. Holding your thoughts and feelings inside, not saying what really needs to be said is not only the primary source of conflict between a husband and wife, but in ALL interpersonal relationships. Marriages, families, friendships end up broken because people have differences and they never sit down and discuss them with each other. People are often shy, uncomfortable in talking about areas of conflict. It is not comfortable. So they put it off. Hours become days, days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years. The longer the issues are not discussed, the more bitterness, even hatred grows. In many cases, it could have been all avoided by simply sitting down and talking.
One problem is that God makes each of us different. Some have a very aggressive, bold personality, while others are very laid back. It is often the case where the aggressive individual will suppress and mentally bully the more passive person in a time of conflict. This is where prayer and being sensitive to God comes in. We know when there is a conflict with someone that is in our life. We make the decision to either put the conflict on the back-burner, or deal with it. The word for you today is to deal with it! The sooner the better. Those who have a more dominant personality must ask the Lord to be more passive, while a more passive person must pray for boldness. The fact is, resolving conflicts takes patience, openness, honesty, and ultimately some compromise on BOTH sides. Prayer is the best way to start a discussion of a conflict, and prayer is the best way to end the discussion.
Ultimately, it takes God to resolve conflicts between people. The fact is, you can not force someone to think or act a certain way. God gave us all free will. You are not responsible for the actions of someone else. You can not control how another person thinks or acts. Only God can bring a person under conviction to change. It is only God who can change a person's heart. But, you do have the ability to share your feelings, and you have the greatest weapon of all, prayer.
I love you, and I care about you very much. Each day is a blessing as we take this journey together. I will be praying for you today to really hear what God is saying to you in these words this morning. If you are currently having conflicts with a spouse, a family member, a friend, go talk to them. Sit down, one on one and talk it out. Don't expect miracles to happen, but know God is able to work in their heart, and yours. The fact is, once you have talked, and done all you can do, there is a freedom. It is now no longer on you, but on God. You have done all you can do. That is all God ever expects. Do your best, give it everything you have, and than simply commit it to prayer. The ball is now in God's court.
As great a basketball player as Michael Jordan is, as great a golfer as Tiger Woods is, they still failed to win at times. Having the ball in God's hands is a guarantee that we will win. After all, it is His will, not our will we are after. When we do all that we can do, and it is in God's hands, His will is going to be done even though we may not agree with it, or be pleased by it. Part of our spiritual growth is to exercise our faith and accept God's answer.
God will ALWAYS have the final word in every situation!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller