Stirring Conflict!

Stirring Conflict!

A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. Proverbs 6:12-15 NIV

Listening to all the “arguments” from political candidates–both nationally and locally–reminds me of a number of things, but mostly it reminds me of Judas Iscariot and Haman’s plot to rid himself of Mordecai.

While walking with Jesus, Judas stole money from what they collected from people on their travels, and because his heart was hardened against anything good thing that Jesus attempted to move forward, he looked for opportunities to give himself an advantage. The one advantage–betraying Jesus for the 30 pieces of silver–led to the arrest of Jesus, the insufferable beating, and crucifixion. But more importantly, the greed that drove Judas to the betrayal also led to his death.

Before Judas Iscariot was, Haman plotted to rid himself of the Jews–and greed, position, status drove his thinking and eventual demise. And his plot to get rid of the Jews–backfired when the king allowed the Jews to defend themselves against any attack.

This is what happens to people–then and now–when we plot to do evil, incite hatred and bigotry. Whenever we think we can outwit God–who is never surprised by anything that happens and indeed–knows exactly what we’ll do, long before we ever do it. It is He who has planned our lives and any time–evil comes against those He loves and those who love Him–He is the standard bearer who will avenge all the wrongdoing.

So, why do we stir up conflict–deliberately lying–to make something out of nothing? The same driving force that led to the death of Judas and Haman–is still residing in the hearts of many people today. The desire to have more than they deserve–greed, pushes their need to wrangling for position and status. In that unchecked desire to achieve what they do not rightly deserve, people lie and then they lie about the lies that have already been told. And in order to make the lie believable–at least to themselves–they repeat lies that have already been exposed in hopes of making the repetition lead people to believe the repeated lies.

A perfect example of repeated lies is the attempt to negate the legitimacy of President Barack Obama by repeating the lie that he wasn’t born in this country. Another repeated lie–that has been exposed–is having a plan to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act or that cutting taxes will reduce the national debt. Economists–those with experience in tackling the issue–have repeatedly said, cutting taxes will not reduce the national debt.

Of course the ultimate stirring of conflict has been in demeaning women or any other minority or those with disabilities. When a person does not exercise discipline over their own mouth, how can anyone expect them to exercise right governance of a nation?

The natural remedy to avoid the conflicts is simply this--tell the truth at all times, even if it hurts or one has to admit being wrong; stay focused on the task at hand, and build bridges, not walls–to cement relationships and garner support to achieve all goals. Reaching out, not blocking out, opens the door for better outcomes, alleviates the need to stir up conflict and controversies, and sets the stage for the ultimate success of all one desires to accomplish.

Unfailing Love!

“Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts.” (Psalm 36:10 NLT)

There are some, who have confused God’s unfailing love with those who “love conditionally.” Those who love conditionally, are selective about their objects of “love” and withdraw the love any time the object of their affection dares to disagree with them.

This may seem a little scattered, but after an exchange of interactions this past weekend, I’m trying to sort out how some think that killing people–because of differences is justification for their doing so and they think that God condones the killing.

God’s unfailing love is never withdrawn from those whom He loves. That does not mean that He condones ungodly behavior; it simply means that He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our actions, loving us all the same.

When parents discipline their children, they do so because they love them. If they didn’t love them, they wouldn’t have rules and since there would be no rules, there would be no need to discipline.

Love–this simple four-letter word–so unlike many other four-letter words–is the key to peace and happiness for everyone–whether  we disagree or not.

Without love–we hate, we kill, we molest, we abuse, we misuse, we manipulate, we do inhumane things to humans and then wonder why the world is in the shape it is in.

With love–God’s unfailing love pour into us and we pour onto to others–we are considerate, we are kind, we are patience, we are compassionate, we find ways to help others, and we always “think before we do”–anything.

And the worst part of the interactive exchange is that others professed to love and know God and His Word, but yet “in their minds” were wishing death upon those who dared to defend themselves in the conflict in the Middle East. I don’t understand. How can anyone say they love God and yet wish death upon His creation–for any reason?  If a person truly loves God–they understand that God is not mocked in any situation and those who are guilty of ungodly behavior will receive their “just reward” from Him–not others.

His unfailing love–disciplines and rewards–justly (not fairly) because He is sovereign and consults no human being–ever–about His plans for mankind.

Pour out Your unfailing love, O God, upon all who know and understand You and how You do what You do. Create in us a heart to receive all the love You pour upon us so that love will overflow onto others who may not know or understand You. Help us to understand that love is the key to peace for all people and not just some. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!