Her email was cheerful, ending with a smiley face that did nothing to hide the snide undertones.
She wanted to be sure I knew what I had done wrong.
Completely rankled, I emailed her back with a proper explanation of how I had done nothing wrong and she was the one who made a mistake. Which prompted an email back, with more smiley faces, of how she was in the right and if I had handled the original situation better, there would have been no confusion.
I replied that it had been this way for years, and since she had been involved in the project each time, she already knew the complete rules.
And then God reminded me that He is my Defender. He doesn’t like quarrelsome behavior.
I was getting caught up in a pointless argument all because I wanted to prove I was right. So as much as it irritated me that she got the last word, I deleted the email and let the matter drop.
Lately, as I look around me, all I see is conflict among Believers, and it makes my heart hurt.
+ A son who avoids his mother and treats her terribly when they get together.
+ Employees who complain about their job, cannot agree with each other on projects, and constantly tell each other how to do their work.
+ A boss who is too busy to communicate well with her employees or show them that she appreciates them, which causes them to rebel.
+ Church attendees who badmouth leadership because something wasn’t done the way they think it ought to be done.
+ Friends and families who argue constantly and tell each other how to behave, fighting for their rights and refusing to give each other grace.
I witnessed all these situations over the past several months, and it makes my stomach turn.
I know Jesus warned that there would be trouble on the earth, but I wonder how much of it could be avoided if Christians took to heart just how much God hates quarreling and disunity?
It wasn’t until my husband and I were having marriage trouble that I began to study what God says about getting along. I was surprised at how many Scriptures talk about unity among Believers. What I discovered was quite sobering.
God is very serious about unity.
As my gut burns with righteous anger at the terrible behavior I see in many Christians, I am reminded of a Scripture God brought to my attention years ago: Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
As far as it depends on me.
There may be nothing I can do to make others get along, but I do have control over my own interactions with people. I can be an example to others in my conduct and conversations. I can refuse to get caught up in disputes, determined to get my way. I can forgive rudeness to myself or my family rather than making the issue into a big deal. I can refrain from complaining or criticizing when someone doesn’t behave the way I think they ought.
I can choose to live at peace with everyone.