What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasure. James 4:1-3
Growing pains are just that, a pain that occurs as you grow. Fighting stinks and hurts, especially when there is no resolution and the two people just part and you have to be patient with God’s timing in it all. What I am realizing is it’s all part of my growth. Recently, I was engaged in an argument that escalated way out of control. It started off as a discussion, then a debate, then a full blown, ugly argument. Can you relate? Has this ever happened to you? There should have never been an argument to begin with and I am embarrassed and ever so sad about it. So now I am left asking God to show me and convict my heart where I was wrong and how He wants me to grow from this. I ask myself, “How does this fit in to who I want to be in Christ?” It doesn’t. But reconciliation, forgiveness and growth all do. I immediately started praying and God laid on my heart the verse I used above. If only I could go back in time. But I can’t. What I can do is arm myself with learning from this and to be changed and prayerfully the next time I can choose differently. I can guarantee Satan will provide another opportunity and I pray that I have been sharpened by this experience. God’s word tells us in 1 Peter 5:8,9 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…..” This is one element that upset me the most; I desire to be more self-controlled when faced with a challenge like this one. Have you ever felt like this?
Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:1-5 about how we should not try and take a speck out of someone’s eye when we have a plank in our own eye. First, Jesus tells us we have to remove the plank from our eye before removing the speck of dust in another person’s eye. Reading this, I feel like so much of an argument or fight is about judging someone in the midst of our fight and we are so concerned with removing the dust in their eye that the plank in our eye gets in our way of making Godly decisions in the moment. I want to encourage you, to remember these verses next time you are upset with someone. Seek God in the midst of your feelings, in the midst of the argument, invite Christ into it. Stop and humble yourselves before God. I know it can be so very hard to do, but we have to practice it and put our pride aside. I know amazing growth can come from growing pains like this, but it still is painful and hurts while I am growing from it. I know God is an amazing, mighty God who wants us to glorify Him.
Let’s Reflect: Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” James 4:7,8a,10 “Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Proverbs 16:1-4a “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for His own ends-…”
PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, how I need your peace right now. Thank you for the conviction and freedom found in your word. Please show me and grow me, give me the courage to be humble and banish my pride. I want to bring you honor and glory.
Be Blessed…Be Bold in the name of Jesus!
Image credit: Corey Grunewald, via CreationSwap