“Family Feuds, Sissies & Spiritual Ditches” June 13

 

Family Feuds, Sissies & Spiritual Ditches - Fighting and disagreements within a family can be some of the most difficult to settle, but God places a high priority on unity and peace within our biological families and within the family of God. Sadly, very few have the strength of character to do what is required in the midst of family feuds, spiritual or biological.Fighting and disagreements within a family can be some of the most difficult to settle, but God places a high priority on unity and peace within our biological families and within the family of God. Sadly, very few have the strength of character to do what is required in the midst of family feuds, spiritual or biological.


Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 14
Psalm 73.10-20
Proverbs 18.18-19
John 20.1-31

 

Family Feuds, Sissies & Spiritual Ditches

 

Family Feuds

Proverbs 18.18-19:

 

Verse 19, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

If you have ever seen or been a part of a family feud, you know they can last for years, partly because of the intensity of the emotional ties. So we must seek to avoid unnecessary conflict within our families.

Family feuds are often over money, favoritism, or failure to take responsibilities seriously.

Favoritism can be real or imagined, but the sovereignty of God must always be kept in mind. If God has allowed some mistreatment or lack of favor, what character quality (Gal. 5.22-23) might He be developing in your life and how does God want you to respond?

When it comes to responsibility, whether it’s children taking responsibility for themselves or siblings taking responsibility to care for aging parents, we are accountable for ourselves regardless of what someone else does or doesn’t do. Remember God rewards those who do right with the right heart attitude.

And when it comes to money, Jesus makes it clear how Christians should respond:

 

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! (1 Cor. 6).

When we feel we are being cheated (not repaid for a debt or not given what we are due), God says to forgive and let it go. How we respond when it comes to money reveals a lot about our attitude toward God. Matthew 6:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money].

Verses 14-15 warn us to forgive those who wrong us:

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6).

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt. 16.26).

Of course, avoiding conflict must be balanced with other biblical truths. We cannot use obeying God in one area to excuse our sin in another. We can’t use peace with our parents, for instance, as an excuse for a lack of submission to our husbands. We can’t allow what our family will think or whether they will be offended, to excuse drunkenness, gossip or any other sin. Romans 12.2 tells us:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” And 12.18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

“If it is possible …” At times, even though we refrain from arguing, being self-righteous or unnecessarily contentious, there are those who do not want to be at peace with us, even in our own families. We are to be salt and light. Salt sometimes stings and light always exposes darkness. And sometimes that brings anger and rejection from others.

hands reconciliationBut while family feuds can be challenging and emotions can run high, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to reconcile those relationships. Jesus said in Matthew 5.23-24:

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

God puts a high priority on unity and reconciliation and we should do all we can to be at peace within our biological families and within the family of God.

Is doesn’t matter who is more in the right. “The one who knows goes!”

James 4.17, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

 

God puts a high priority on unity and reconciliation and we should do all we can to be at peace within our biological families and within the family of God.

 

Family Feuds & Sissies - Fighting and disagreements within a family can be some of the most difficult to settle, but God places a high priority on unity and peace within our biological families and within the family of God. Sadly, very few have the strength of character to do what is required in the midst of family feuds, spiritual or biological.“But you don’t know what they did to me!” No, maybe not, but Jesus does. Matthew 5: 

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

It takes strength of character that many people do not have to humble yourself, take responsibility for your part in the problem, and to forgive others regardless of their willingness to accept responsibility. Christianity is not for sissies!

 

It takes strength of character that many people do not have to humble yourself, take responsibility for your part in the problem, and to forgive others regardless of their willingness to accept responsibility. Christianity is not for sissies!


Today’s Other Readings:

 

Pride & Spiritual Ditches

2 Kings 14:

 

Judah’s new king is Amaziah. This king started out well. Verse 3 says, “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” He even followed the Mosaic Law by not punishing the children of the men who had murdered his father. Then God gave him victory in battle over the Edomites. Instead of giving glory to God, he was lifted up in pride because of it and challenged the king of Israel to war. It led to his defeat, the destruction of part of Jerusalem, the plundering of the temple, and the taking of hostages.

While pride was a huge factor, it wasn’t the only one. 2 Chronicles 25.14-16 gives us some additional insight:

14 Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15 Therefore the anger of the LORD was aroused against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, ‘Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?’ 16 So it was, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, ‘Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?’ Then the prophet ceased, and said, ‘I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.'”

After starting out well, he embraced the false religion of those he had just defeated!

Perhaps he did it to win the favor of and maintain good relations with the people of that nation, but when God sent a prophet, a man of God, to warn him, he merely silenced the voice of God!

The same thing can happen to us if we don’t stay teachable. If we are reproved, corrected or criticized, we should receive it humbly and if we don’t believe it’s justified, take it to the Lord in prayer and ask if there is even a nugget of truth in it. Doing so will keep us from falling into pride and help keep us out of spiritual ditches.

 

God is Not Mocked

Psalm 73.10-20:

 

As this psalm continues from yesterday’s reading, the psalmist is focused on the challenges of serving God and the supposed ease of a life spent rejecting God. But then, in verse 17 he says:

“Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”

If all we focus on is the here and now, it may seem that those living apart from God can do whatever they want, prosper through ungodly means, and live for ease and pleasure.

Instead, we must go to the sanctuary of God and remember:

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

Galatians 6.7-9 says:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

God is not mocked. There are laws of sowing and reaping and God, who is patient and merciful, is also just. One day He will judge those who have never surrendered their lives to Him.

And even when ungodly people appear to have it all, appearances can be deceiving. If money and fame brought the happiness, peace and joy the world thinks it does, you would think Hollywood would be the happiest place on earth. Instead, so many who have achieved their dreams, find it empty. They hop from one bed to another or turn to drugs, alcohol and other dangerous behaviors, trying to find what alludes them.

 

And even when ungodly people appear to have it all, appearances can be deceiving. If money and fame brought the happiness, peace and joy the world thinks it does, you would think Hollywood would be the happiest place on earth. Instead, so many who have achieved their dreams, find it empty. They hop from one bed to another or turn to drugs, alcohol and other dangerous behaviors, trying to find what alludes them.

 

That You May Know

John 20.1-31:

 

Thomas, often called “Doubting Thomas,” had a tough time believing Jesus had really come back from the dead, but then so did all the others, at first. Instead of rebuking him, the Lord confirmed the truth to Thomas.

The Apostle John later wrote:

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5.11-13).

God wants each of us “to know,” just as He did Thomas. So when you struggle with doubts, take them to the Lord, and ask Him to open your eyes so you can see more clearly, then trust the Holy Spirit who lives in you to confirm the truth:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8.16).

 

God wants each of us “to know,” just as He did Thomas. So when you struggle with doubts, take them to the Lord, and ask Him to open your eyes so you can see more clearly, then trust the Holy Spirit who lives in you to confirm the truth. 

 

journalWhat about You? Questions to Ponder or Journal:

Have you been tempted to envy the wicked? What do you need to reconsider in light of Psalm 73?

Is there someone with whom you need to be reconciled? If so, pray and read Matthew 7.1-5. Pray for wisdom, go humbly, and remember it’s about the glory of God!

Blessings,
Donna

 

Featured Resources:

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” But it often seems like conflict and disagreement are unavoidable. Serious, divisive conflict is everywhere-within families, in the church, and out in the world. And it can seem impossible to overcome its negative force in our lives. In The Peacemaker, Ken Sande presents a comprehensive and practical theology for conflict resolution designed to bring about not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. Sande takes readers beyond resolving conflicts to true, life-changing reconciliation with family members, coworkers, and fellow believers. Biblically based, The Peacemaker is full of godly wisdom and useful suggestions that are easily applied to any relationship needing reconciliation. Sande’s years of experience as an attorney and as president of Peacemaker Ministries will strengthen readers’ confidence as they stand in the gap as peacemakers.

Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict by Tara Barthel & Judy Dabler

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”–Ephesians 4:3

Friends let you down. A romance turns sour. Children rebel. A church is divided. You feel like you don’t measure up. Is there really hope for living at peace?

Yes! Peacemaking Women offers a meaningful, lasting message to lead you out of conflict and into a state of peace where you can live as a representative of Christ to other women as well as to unbelievers. With personal stories and advice that is firmly rooted in Scripture, the authors guide you to peace with God, peaceful relationships with others, and genuine peace within.

Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande

Basic conflict-resolution skills found in Scripture can help you change your home from a battle zone to a love nest. Distinguishing between positive and negative conflict resolution, Peacemaking for Families introduces the reader to valuable principles such as “The Peacemaker’s Pledge,” the “Seven A’s of Forgiveness,” and the “PAUSE Principle of Negotiation.” Real-life stories and case studies help the reader to acquire the skills needed to create a true “peacemaking family.”

Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande

The essential principles of conflict resolution in an affordable, reader-friendly, and casual format.

 


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2 thoughts on ““Family Feuds, Sissies & Spiritual Ditches” June 13

  1. This spoke to me Donna: “If it is possible …” At times, even though we refrain from arguing, being self-righteous or unnecessarily contentious, there are those who do not want to be at peace with us, even in our own families. We are to be salt and light. Salt sometimes stings and light always exposes darkness. And sometimes that brings anger and rejection from others.”

    Salt stings and light definitely exposes darkness and brings rejection from others. I can definitely relate…

    I have done all I can to reconcile the broken relationships in my family. As you stated above, “There are those who do not want to be at peace with us.” That is true of so many members of my family.

    God did not create me to be abused or mistreated by anyone and that includes family members. I honestly thought my mother’s death would’ve moved us forward on the path to healing but it didn’t.

    I will check out those book resources.

    Thanks for this great post….

    • I’m so glad it spoke to you, Yvonne. Just keep praying for them. Sometimes God begins to work in someone’s heart when we least expect it!

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