ORANGE TIP: The gift in the messiness…
I’ve been reminded this week how messy life can be at times.
When we do life in families and communities (and really there’s no other way to do it) things tend to get complicated.
When we choose to be in relationships with others it is inevitable that there will be friction and disagreement from time to time (and sometimes those times are 12.00am to 11.59pm).
When this is the case we always have a choice – to stay in the relationship, in the mess, and work through it, or to check-out of the relationship (physically, mentally or emotionally, temporarily or permanently).
Usually when I encounter this kind of difficulty, my first response is to be defensive and blame the other person. When I do this though I’m missing a huge opportunity – regardless of whether I’m ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the situation. I’m missing the opportunity to learn, grow and be stretched by the situation.
To point out the speck in the other’s eye is to miss the opportunity to examine my own eye for logs.
The gift in this kind of messiness is that it holds up a mirror for us. We can choose to gaze lovingly at how just how good we are – especially compared to the other person or we can choose to examine our own hearts, ask ourselves why this really upsets us, ask ourselves what is it we are expecting from the other person, what need are we expecting them to meet and whether we are looking in the right place for that need to be met.
When we truly believe that God loves us and wants the best for us, we can confidently ask Him what He wants us to learn in this situation. This is the gift in our relationships. They are the classroom of our soul.
I’ve recently found Psalm 23 helpful at times like this. It assures us, even (or especially) in those times of conflict, of God’s care for us, God’s guidance, God’s discipline and God’s favour. But I don’t find it easy! It takes practice and intentionality. I’m often a fair way down the path of defensiveness, blame and isolation before I remember that there will be a gift in this messiness if I’m willing to allow God to examine my heart.
*What is ‘Orange’? Orange is a visual reminder that to help our kids follow Jesus the church and families need to work together.
If RED represents the love and heart of families for their kids…
And YELLOW represents the light that the church should be in the world…
Then ORANGE is when we come together, work together and guide our children together.*
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