Tension and the Story of Humanity
As we’ve examined the story of the prodigal son, his father and older brother, the thread woven throughout their lives – and each of ours – is that of tension. The prodigal’s poor choices led him to the brink of poverty, hunger and destitution. God used this healthy tension in his life to bring him to his senses. Lacking in grace, the resentful older brother experienced tension too, but of the unhealthy variety.
Fast forward to the here and now, and the opportunity to experience tension in our daily lives is boundless! There are choices to make about how to raise children, manage finances, operate a business, grow a church, or achieve any other mutual goal. Issues such as these can produce understandable points of disagreement among even godly, well-intentioned people. Discussing them with maturity, respect, and a commitment to unity result in healthy tension which produces a more positive outcome. When compassion and respect are lacking, however, this healthy tension morphs into unhealthy tension which is sure to cause harm.
Tension and Your Story
Tension is a natural part of life, and is often triggered when what I want stands in opposition to what you want – and vice versa. The good news is that when we address tension in a healthy way, it is possible to avert the crisis of a full-blown conflict.
When differing positions emerge, a healthy approach is to attack the problem, not the person. Express desires, instead of making demands – and demonstrate respect while resisting attitudes that foster resentment. Ephesians 4:2-3 puts it like this: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
We’ve all made our fair share of mistakes when it comes to peacemaking – and peacekeeping. Thankfully, our experiences afford us the opportunity to learn and grow. As you commit yourself to Christ and strive to walk The Path of a Peacemaker, He will continue to guide you in your pursuit of peace.
Up Ahead on “The Path”…
Don’t miss next week’s post! We’ll take a look at some of the things in our lives that trigger conflict. Thanks, once again, for reading and sharing the posts from The Path of a Peacemaker! Click here to learn more about Peacemaker Ministries.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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