Do you have conflict in relationships? Is your marriage struggling? Do you seem to be in constant tension with loved ones in your life? Do you dread going to the workplace because you just don't want to fight with your boss or your co-workers again? Are you feeling hopeless, wanting the strife to end, but don't know where to start in ending these conflicts?
Without even speaking with you to hear the fullness of the story, I know there is one thing you can do right now to begin walking down a path of peace. James 4:1-2 says that the cause of quarrels and conflicts in our relationships, the very source of the problem is our own pleasures, our own desires, that wage war in our own hearts. Notice it is not first and foremost the other person's problem that is causing the conflict (So the whole, "well if they would just stop..." doesn't work here). The problem is me. The problem is my selfishness and prides that expects and demands to be treated a certain way, and when I am not getting what I am wanting, or when I am getting what I am not wanting, quarrels and conflicts begin.
So what is the solution? Well, you can't make those around you live a certain way, think a certain way, or act a certain way. You can only work on you. And the first place to start is to fight hard to deny yourself. Imagine if we all perfectly lived out Philippians 2:3-4, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but rather in humility considering others as more important than ourselves, intentionally looking out for the interests of others far above any interests we have. If we all could do that perfectly, we would never have quarrels! But because we fight to have our desires met, even at the expense of others, demanding to be served rather than to serve, we have conflict.
That's where this article comes in that I read this morning. If I am to image Jesus to the world around me, and specifically to those in my own household, I must serve, deny myself, and set the needs of those around me far above my own. And as I live out and live on the love of Jesus, I will truly serve others the way I have been served by my Savior and will point them to Him, being a faithful ambassador of my King, a slave to all, and a peacemaker who is blessed.
Praying that as you read this article (click link below), you will be encouraged, convicted, challenged, and helped as I was.