Numerous times you can read the bible from cover-to-cover, and each time you reread it, there is something new to see and learn. Not only this, but there is always a timely word to help you through whatever season you are in. These are some of the reasons why, I personally regard the bible as the “Living Word”. It comes alive to the person who wants to see life in it, and it brings life to any situation anyone faces. This is why the bible is a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path as stated in (Psalm 119:105).
The reason I made the previous claim is because a friend shared a scripture with me this week and it reminded me about the things, I said in my opening paragraph. The scripture my friend shared was the following:
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. (Matthew 5:25)
This scripture is all about who God is, a God of relationships, restoration, peace, and unity, and this is especially notable with our enemies. God knows that with us humans’, things can quickly spiral downwards and out of control if situations are not addressed from inception. Thus, He has instructed us, to settle differences as soon as possible, and nip it in the bud. Deal with it when it is still in the infancy stage, or better yet, catch it as an embryo. I am sure many of us can reflect and single out things that if they were dealt with from inception, the outcome would have been totally different today.
Now, allow me to ask you this. During a disagreement, or even afterwards, does the thought of settling quickly be at the front of your mind? Be honest now! I hope I am not taking too much liberty here, but I don’t think that settling quickly comes to mind for many of us. So, let’s explore some behaviors using examples about this.
I know people who don’t apologize or say sorry. I even had a friend who told me that they don’t say sorry even if they know they are wrong. These types of behaviors are totally distant from kingdom principles, and they should not be found in believers, as they facilitate the prolonging of issues and maintaining a divide. This way of thinking does not promote the settling of issues.
For some people, when they settle a matter they must win, even if that involves destroying the other party in the process. If we look at it in terms of percentages, they want 100% of the spoils, while the other person must settle for nothing. Then there are others who will fight to obtain a 50/50 split. Their intention is to fight for equal share, but fight tooth and nail they will, and don’t you dare even think about giving them a 49.5% share, else all hell will break loose.
While the previous paragraph drew analogies as it relates to differences when persons are divided over monetary gain, the same can apply for simple things. For example, when friends, spouses or family don’t see eye to eye on a particular topic or matter of concern. Some of these disagreements can become so downright nasty, that they might never be settled at all. You can even find that sometimes persons prefer to go to their grave, without making peace. My friend, I say to you, “never go to the ground, while leaving unresolved things above ground”.
I want to echo again that I really find this scripture in Matthew 5 interesting on many levels. For instance, I note the scripture uses the word “adversary”, which implies your foe, rival, or enemy. This adversary may have been your friend, or they could have been an enemy from day one. The nature of the foregone does not matter, what matters is that God says to make up quickly. This shows the level of humility, patience, longsuffering and desire to live in togetherness that a child of God should have because such traits must extend even to our enemies to quickly bring peace. As Matthew 5:9 states:
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”
Anyone looking to prolong a division, needs to check themselves to see how much of a child of God they really are. If God says, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”, then what do we call the persons who maintain and support divisiveness? Maybe we should call such persons a curse? Well, according to Jesus, we cannot call them a blessing, so the only other thing we can call them is the opposite. In this regard, I make no formal pronouncement and I leave it up to you to form your own opinion. So, the next time someone whispers words that support division, please ask yourself if this person is bringing a blessing or something else, because they just might be bringing a curse. Where God brought someone into your space for a lifelong journey of blessing it now had to be aborted because a little disagreement that was left to fester. It might have even been compounded by the individual listening to divisive advice.
My friends, we are not always right, and this can be seen in the referenced scripture. Note in the scripture, that the adversary won the case when it was brought before the judge. Sometimes when we think we are 100 percent right in a situation, we are in fact 100 percent wrong, and hindsight and maturity have a way of revealing this to us. This is why it is important to be humble and rid ourselves of all forms of hubris (pride). If not, as we get older and we reflect on life, we will always be lamenting about, “if I knew then, what I know now.”
This might sound strange to some, but the Bible way of making peace is most times, “WINNING BY LOSING”. Remember when Father Abraham and his nephew Lot was striving over land in Genesis 13? Father Abraham gave Lot the choice of picking which land he wanted. Lot looked with his eyes and chose the best land and gave Abraham the worst for his family and himself. However, when Lot thought that Abraham got the worst, God turned it around and blessed Abraham more abundantly, while Lot ended up in serious trouble later on. One of the lessons from this is, we cannot look with our eyes when dealing with strife, because what we see can deceive us. Dealing with strife often calls for using spiritual eyes, and a spiritual application by using God’s word as the blueprint.
My dear friends, I think I have said enough! Therefore, I close this blog by quoting the following two scriptures:
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”.- Romans 14:19
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” – Romans 12:18.
As believers, let’s show love which is our distinguishing characteristic and strive for peace by taking steps to repair and heal strained relationships.
PS: Dane Miller was last seen picking up his phone to make some calls.
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller | Authored Book – “God is the Author, I am the Pen”
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