Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our Part

I have had several conversations recently with various friends experiencing challenges in their relationships. Whether it is a spouse, co-worker, mother-in-law, sibling or friend, two verses have been impressed upon my heart repeatedly.

Tonight as I sat down to write I was heading in a totally different direction, but these two verses kept coming up for me.  They are simple reminders in a noisy complicated world of how God really wants us to love.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NIV

Even as I was typing them I could hear the fleshly rebuttals I often struggle with...But you don't know my situation...He this.. and She that...

You are right.  I don't know your circumstances. 'They' likely have done things that make your anger, frustration, desire for revenge feel justified. This is the beauty of the grace of God. Through Him we can rise above all that--not to be doormats, but to act JUSTLY, to love MERCY and to walk HUMBLY. You can't control what they do, but you are responsible for your response. 

I have long loved Romans 12:18 (above), because it seems so realistic in its caveats...'whenever possible' and 'as far as it depends on you.' I am so relieved that the verse itself seems to acknowledge that it isn't always dependent on us. We do, however, have a responsibility to pray God will give us honest insight into what part we play in the peace of a relationship. It can be so hard to admit.

In terms of full disclosure, a reminder that I do not write about the things I have all figured out. I write about the areas that God keeps bringing to my attention.  I often think I could be a really good Christian if I didn't have to deal with people. As a fellow work in progress, I am ever thankful for His forgiveness and grace.


John and Kitty Miller said...

I tell my myself and my children often, "you are only responsible for your own actions."


The Burgess Family said...

I needed to read these words today. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Denice said...

I needed to hear this tonight. Thanks!