2 Timothy 2:23 “Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” (NIV)
How often do you pause during conflict and find yourself on the wrong side of this Scripture? I wish I was quicker in following this Scriptural instruction, because it always seems I am several exchanges down the road before I pause and ask some questions: Where is this going? What good is being produced from it? Am I resolving it in harmony or creating a barrier going forward? I usually have to say no on one or all of these questions. I repeatedly put myself on the foolish side of conflict because I allow conflict to hijack my life in Christ. It is like I’ve chosen to step out of the ring of living the Christian life to have this conflict outside of God’s purposes and will for my life. God wants me to stay in the ring mustering the full breadth of the fruit of Spirit, so that God can fill and empower me with His love. Hebrews 12:14 ties the instruction for peace with the benefit of living in peace: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)
Many areas of my life are positively impacted when I have a positive outcome in mind. It is hard not to be more motivated to live in peace and harmony with the promise of seeing and experiencing Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:10 gives a positive outcome from human perspective: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (NIV) Recognizing Christ’s great love and sacrifice motivates me to seek peace and harmony at all times and at all costs, so that His life in me does not go “without effect.” I want my relationship with Christ to be so close and intimate that I live, breathe, and feel God’s joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment through His life in me. Whatever it takes, I am all in for God and His ways. I want God’s love and holiness to totally encapsulate my life, so that I not only see and experience more of the Him, but also allow Him to use more of me.
Philippians 2:2-3 “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (NIV)
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Deeper with God” and “Satisfaction.”