By Randy and Linda Myers
Chuck Swindoll wrote in his book, The Grace Awakening,” about two groups of missionaries living together on a compound that would not even speak to each other all because of peanut butter. One group asked people from back home to send peanut butter as they could not buy it on the island where they lived.
The other group felt this was wrong. If it was not available on the island, then it should not be sent in.
This matter of preferences soon turned into each group making moral accusations against the other. They attacked each other rather than the problem. Each side accused the other of being ungodly. Wow!
So how can we get along better? The Bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
The Hebrew word is Shalom, which means harmony and wholeness. It’s not the attitude of, “fine, we will pretend to get along.” It is the restoration of a relationship.
Here are some steps to take to live in peace with others:
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. We need His working and power in our lives to even start this process. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and love.
“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18
We may be surprised by how valuable it is to listen to the other person. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. Listening builds bridges and brings understanding and dignity.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
Action is required. We need to take the necessary steps towards restoration and healing. Are there things to repent of? Does something need to be confronted? Is wise counsel needed? Is forgiveness being offered?
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
BEFORE YOU GO
What issues are your “peanut butter?” What are the barriers you have between others that need your attention?
3 Comments Add yours
You hit the nail on the head, attitudes are really the big issue in most relationships. We had a coworker who was a real jerk and God in His mercy finally got through to me that, although our coworker was living in sin and was removed from the field, that I needed to deal with my attitude towards him. God revealed to me that my heart was no different than his and God loved him as much as He loved me! Whamo, what a blow to my ego and what an eye opener for me. It has helped me deal with difficult people ever since. Thanks for putting that out there, may others profit from your insight.
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Amen and very well put! Now all we need to do is practice.
I agree. Facing conflict is never fun, but always needed.