If you have ever doubted the love, compassion, sense of humor and wisdom of God, you are either new to the relationship, or don’t spend enough time with Him. He’s pretty remarkable.
Growing up I wasn’t very good at defending myself. It was partly due to my people-pleasing-peace-keeping-personality, but also to the fact that our home was not always an environment in which having an opposing opinion was welcome. I am sure it was a generational thing, really, but it did hinder my communication foundation.
As an adult, I still really struggle with dissention of any kind, and will make every effort to make amends, even when being treated unfairly or with hostility. The end result, however, is I often struggle when common ground can’t be found.
The other day, I helped out with our Cherries Classroom on a weekend I don’t usually volunteer. I was pretty bummed because I had a couple of guests coming, my son was singing, and a friend was speaking. What I discovered, however, is that God was in the middle of my disappointments – in fact He orchestrated the entire thing.
The lesson was about David and how he exhibited self control when he chose not to kill his adversary King Saul, even as he had the “right,” and the opportunity. I was deeply convicted as I thought about those people in my life who have been unrelenting, unkind or absolutely cruel. We all have people who we would be “justified” in retaliating against, but in the end, that is the easy way out. Here I was, listening to a children’s message, nearly in tears as I recognized my own need to hear the message – I needed to choose the high road. Regardless.
There doesn’t always have to be a right or wrong person. We don’t have to agree. It’s okay to stand on different sides of an issue and not see it the same. But we are at fault and risk relationship with others and our God when we refuse to extend grace and love, regardless of perspective.
I am so thankful for a God who cares about my personal character and emotional growth. And, while it’s not always easy, I am so very grateful that even as my attempts to recocile might be ignored by others, there will always be a reward from my Heavenly Father for my obedience. If nothing else, I get to keep my peace.