[CF Devotionals] 2014-11-26 - Open Wounds

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Do you have any relationships that just seem to be awkward or difficult, no matter what the circumstances? Even on the best day, within that alliance things are strained, misunderstood, frustrating - or you just feel like you have to be careful about everything you say and do. I recall some instances in my life that those sorts of relationships and had temporary times of challenge, yet with a few, it has been ongoing, and I really struggle with it. It reminded me of a healing wound that might become open again. Especially if it's in a place like your hand, and it's easier to bump the area, etc. After finally feeling like the place has healed up, you either bump it, drop something on it, or get the area wet and it can't stay dried out long enough to finish healing. So it can be with challenging relationships. I've had some connections with people that were clearly to teach me a specific thing about myself, or help me understand something I might do or think about differently. And some relationships are just unhealthy, and we need to limit the time we spend interacting in ones of that nature.

We aren't to gossip, grumble and complain or create divisions with the body of Christ, or within the world - as we have learned by being followers of Christ. And unfortunately, still being human, we are prone to such tendencies, should we strive to surround ourselves with those who will correct us when we move past sharing frustrations in relationships, to the point of those behaviors above that are unhealthy.

Something else I had to come to terms with is it just isn't always possible to be friends and get along with everyone. When Hebrews 12:14 talks about being at peace, it says "make every effort". Very often, that is not how the verse is presented, and it can be taken to one extreme or another. Either people will try to get along with everyone, or no one at all. Making "every effort" is the balanced method the father teaches. It's not that we have to get along with everyone, to fulfill our individual purposes, yet we still need to know how to interact. God can sometimes be showing us we need to move a different direction, for him to be glorified as the plan entails. There are also times we have no choice but to be around people that we clash with, and vice-versa. Prayers to be able to handle it how God wants, not relying on our own strength, might be part of our lesson. And showing someone that may or may not have a relationship with the Lord what it looks like to persevere in his strength, could be what message we are to be sharing with another. I have also come to realize that what my relationship with certain family is not necessarily supposed to look the same as it does in another person's family. And what I take from my own experiences prepares me for the path God has planned for me.

When I get really sad about certain relationships, I remember two things. One is that no matter what happens, my father in Heaven is always the same. The second thing I remember is that my wishing for this or that connection to be different is the equivalent to coveting, and that means I am breaking God's commandment to not covet (dictionary.com defines covet this way: to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others) And when we linger in alliances we are to remain in only temporarily, then we can end up taking ourselves to a place of breaking our covenant with God, of not putting anything before him. So the best thing to do is seek his guidance in anything we do, or with whom we spend time. If we seek him first, then it will become clear at some point, what perspective we are to have about how to spend our time, and with whom to spend it. He will never steer us wrong, when we let him steer!!!!

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." (Psalm 37:23 KJV)

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Hebrews 12:14 NIV)

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Mark 16:17-18 KJV)

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)

"The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." (Psalm 25:9 KJV)

Deborah P Durrett

[email deborah] cfpraydeb@gmail.com

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.

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