Been in conflict with anyone lately?
It’s only a matter of time.
Conflict is not far from any of us. If you want conflict right now–literally this minute–just post something on social media. Someone somewhere will find fault with it, be an (uninvited) expert, or generally have some discontent with what you say, think, or feel.
Another way to ensure you have conflict is to express a spiritual opinion on some point or understanding. It does not matter what it is. Like social media, someone is going to disagree with you.
To all the above, I say: So what? Why does it really matter what anyone else thinks? Think about it this way:
- All those people whose acceptance others are trying to gain are just other people trying to gain someone else’s acceptance.
- All those so-called experts are people looking for approval from other so-called experts.
- All those people in church making up all those rules that they expect others to follow are just people following rules someone else made up.
There is only one opinion that really matters–in all of existence! Of course, that opinion is God’s opinion. If you have His approval, does it really matter what anyone else thinks? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way; of course it does not!)
If you have God’s approval and follow His ways, you WILL have conflict. No question. It is unavoidable. Jesus plainly stated it: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
Why does relationship with God cause conflict with people? One reason is because He does things differently than everyone else. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8)
People do not like different. They like controlling and being in control. They like acceptance. They like being liked. And some like the power to reject.
Different does not get you liked. It gets you rejected. So, since relationship with God can result in being rejected by people, why would we want to be in relationship with Him? (Rhetorical question again.)
It is wise because this is God’s Universe and it operates by His rules. This includes life–both now and hereafter. Live now in agreement with His rules and life continues after this reality. Live in opposition to His rules and life takes a drastic downward turn at the end of this phase of it.
Being in agreement gets you accepted by God and potentially rejected by other people. This is inevitable. There will, of course, be those who cherish their relationship with God. You will always have their acceptance. And when you have it, you too will cherish it.
It all comes down to whose acceptance you would rather have at the end of this life. Do you want God’s acceptance–and enjoy it forevermore? Or would you rather sacrifice His forever acceptance for the temporary acceptance of people who, at the end of this life, will no longer be even an afterthought?
Think about it… but not too long.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for Jan. 25, 2023:
Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Normally the master sits at the table and is served by his servants. But not here! For I am your servant. (Luke 22:25-27 NLT)
Prayer: LORD, Your ways are different from everyone and everything else! There are times when doing things Your way causes me to be seen as odd by other people. My relationship with You is more important to me than other peoples’ opinions. Give me courage to stand strong and bold when Your ways conflict with theirs. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org
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“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN • Jan. 25, 2023
With over 40 years in ministry as a pastor, author, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997, one of the earliest online Christian ministries, the first to utilize the Internet as a native media for ministry, and today the longest continuously operating.
His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He resides in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, two incredible dogs, Hadi and Casi, and enjoys hiking and “prayer walks”.