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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Don't cast the dissenting vote!

We can find ourselves in situations where we are bickering with another over some trivial matter. Before we knew what happened, we were in some type of disagreement about a matter which really should not matter to us in the scheme of things.  It is like we zeroed in on something and now we are not going to let up on it.  We have all been there - in the cycle of discord without any real appreciation for how it all began or much hope of this thing ending well for us!  In those moments between "ignition" and "the crash", we all face the same issue - will WE be the ones to admit we are wrong or will we hold out for the other person to admit it?

Hatred fuels dissension, but love calms all rebellions. (Proverbs 10:12 VOICE)

We can fuel flames of discord by simply saying wrong stuff, or even ignoring some of the stuff we should be taking a stand about.  Nothing fuels discord and disagreement in our lives more than hatred.  Did you ever stop to think that we may not need two people to have discord?  It is possible to know discord right there within ourselves, simply because there are two "factions" at war against each other!  One part of us wants to do what is right, while the other part is kind of liking doing what is wrong!  There are times we bring on our own "battles" of sorts - all within our minds, hearts, and emotions - and all directed at none other than little old us!  

It is entirely possible to know controversy within our own minds and hearts - this is often the basis of many of our longest "arguments".  We find ourselves getting all "lathered up" about stuff we cannot control, things we have perceived one way or another, and which we simply shouldn't be dwelling on at all, but are.  Instead of getting a handle on our internal conflict, we allow it to begin to spin us out of control until we find ourselves allowing that internal controversy to affect our outward lives and relationships.  In short order, the dissension within becomes evident without!

If we are to be honest here, it is this sense of "disunity" within which often leads to the disunity we experience with others in our lives.  It isn't that we wanted the conflict - we simply didn't allow the conflict to be dealt with within ourselves and now it is affecting those around us, as well.  In the most literal sense of the word, all rebellion is because of this "internal discord" we experience in life.  We want one thing, know another is probably the better path to pursue, but struggle to figure out which one we will ultimately follow. As this battle rages on, it cannot help but affect our relationships around us, for every "internal battle" is the fuel for the fire within the relationship moments we must navigate through each day.

I think the Apostle Paul hit the nail on the head when he described this internal discord as doing the things he hated (Romans 7).  He says this internal conflict occurs when he does the things he despises (hates).  The answer to this is to embrace God's love a little more and allow it to embrace you a little deeper.  The love of God actually begins to calm the discord within - it isn't that we need to stop the argument, we just need to embrace the love!  We don't need more love, we just need to begin to be embraced by the love we have been shown and which desires to set our inner man at peace! Conflict stops when love invades the spaces of our minds and hearts which had previously been in such discord.  Love brings with it agreement and harmony (the opposite of discord).

Instead of living in conflict all the time, maybe it is time we just open our hearts to the love begging to do what love does - set in order what has been in such a state of disorder for so long within each of us.  Just sayin!