Have you ever had conflict? How did you handle it? Did you react or respond? Reacting is that knee jerk reaction. The quick terse response and then hit "send." You know what I mean, he pushed me so I pushed him back!
Responding is taking time to evaluate and then to prepare a response that would be righteous and healing. I have been guilty of reacting and responding. I am here to tell you that responding is always better unless you are in physical danger:)
One of the most valuable things my sweet husband has taught me is to take a step back and think to yourself, "What is their motive?" Most usually, especially if it is your friend or someone that you have fellowship with, their motive is never to injure or offend you. What is your motive in your response?
God's desire for us is for us to be healthy and flourishing and fruitful. In Matt. 12:20 it says, A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering which He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory. NIV
The enemy loves for you to be offended so he can get you to isolate!
So what stunts our growth or separates from the vine?
I. The Offense
Like mold the offense starts to grow and spreads all over you. It's a trap! It's the trigger on the mouse trap. It robs you of your blessing while you are in the trap. However, the offense is an opportunity for growth and release. How to escape from the trap is forgiveness.
II. Admit The Offense To Yourself.
We have all been trapped and we have all trapped. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to be offended and it's impossible not to offend people and He teaches that it is hard on both ends. You are not the only on that this has happened to.
III. Admit The Offense To The Other Person.
Let's state this very clearly...Admission is not accusation!!! You can never know what their motive was! Generally they were oblivious or careless or hurt. How often have you "plotted" to hurt someone? Most usually it is a misunderstanding and the enemy uses it for his advantage (to set that trap). Please make sure that your heart is right with the Lord before going to do this. LOVE needs to be your motivation. Don't go to "confront" the person...go in love.
IV. Forgive The Offense.
God forgave us for so much how can we not forgive for so little? Be mature, make the first move, right or wrong. We have to make the choice to will forgiveness. When we forgive, it releases the issue to God so He can take care of it. When we forgive that is letting the vine dresser to lift us up out of the mud. He then washes the mold off and stakes us to the vine so that we can produce fruit.
Unforgiveness cuts us off from the nutrients of the Word, Prayer, Worship and Fellowship.
V. Get Back Into The Game.
Once we get out of the mud we need to get back into the exercise of reading the Word, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping which equals ABIDING!
Pray for God to reveal any unforgiveness in your life. Unforgiveness is like poison and as it courses through your veins it kills you! Do not let the enemy plant a seed of bitterness in your life. Listen to your outside voice and use that for your heart check. Make the choice to be righteous no matter what the situation is and everytime God will cover you. It may not feel like it at the moment but I promise you that you will reap the benefits of doing the right thing.
Like I said before that I have been guilty of not responding and reacting. When I have done that I am saying that I do not trust God to take care of me. God has convicted my heart of this very thing. I have repented and made a decision to respond not react, especially in my workplace. I cannot tell you how much better it is for me! Thank You Jesus for bringing my focus back to You and not making things "just" or "fair."
No matter the outcome, God is in control!