Handling Confrontation
 
Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:25-28
 
Everyone, at one time or another, has experienced confrontation.  It may have come in the form of an argument or a physical confrontation that escalated to the point of being out of control.  It may have been a situation where we confronted our fears or finally confronted the truth in a certain area of our life.
 
Confrontation on the highway now has a name.  They call it “road rage”.  The police spend a majority of their time stopping confrontations.  Some are domestic (husband and wife) and others are between total strangers who let anger get in the way of common sense and wind up in a “situation”.  Foolish people acting foolishly.
 
Regardless of the situation, confrontation rarely if ever leaves you feeling good or vindicated.  And believe it or not, handling confrontation takes a spiritual maturity on your part.
 
If left up to the flesh and our old ways of thinking, it is easy to see how quickly we would revert to handling things like we were in the old west.  “You call me out, and there is going to be a fight.”
 
Peter had a tough time handling confrontation.  Read John 18:7-11.  Here was Jesus faced with a band of men with torches and weapons.  They came to confront Him.   Now Jesus was in control of the situation, but Peter got angry.  He wasn`t willing to let the calm, Godly demeanor of our Lord and Savior take care of the situation.  Peter figured that if “you came here looking for a fight, I am just the guy to give it to you!”  So he pulled out his sword and went on the attack.  The only thing that got Peter back in line, was what?  The Words of Jesus.
 
Now read Luke 9:51-56.  Here we see that James and John faced a confrontational issue.  They were upset and offended because the Samaritans didn`t receive Jesus.  It really didn`t matter what the reason was, these guys were ticked off!  They wanted to go and confront the Samaritans with fire from heaven to destroy them!  Once again, it was Jesus` Godly demeanor, His acting in total love, and His Words, that stopped a confrontation from escalating.
 
Jesus is well aware of the confrontational, sin nature of man.  He knows all about the struggles that we face, so He gave us instructions in His Word.  Read Luke 6:27-36 and you will see that we are told to “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you…”  
 
I know that there are times when we sure don`t feel like acting that way.  I mean, smite me on the cheek and prepare to be smitten!  Right?  But Jesus tells us through His Word, that the best way to stop confrontation is to follow His Word and His Way.
 
“A soft answer turneth away wrath:  but grievous words stir up anger.  The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright:  but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
Proverbs 15:1-2
 
The Lord has blessed us with some really good Word here, hasn`t He?  So the next time confrontation comes for a visit, don`t answer the door!  Walk away from the situation.  Don`t feel the need to respond to the devil and his devices.  Don`t feel the need to get in the “last word”.  Don`t fall prey to highly volatile situations that you know will only get worse and not better if you open your mouth and give them a “piece of your mind”.  I heard an old-timer say one time, “don`t go around giving people a piece of your mind, 'cause you ain`t got that much to spare”!
 
Walk away from the confrontation, don`t add to it.  Walk away singing praises to the Lord.  Thank Him for His wise counsel, and all the while, keep walking.
 
Some of you may be saying, “Yes, but they will think that I am not a real man or woman if I just walk away”.  Let them think what they will think.  It takes more of a man and more of a woman to walk away than it does to hang around there and argue or fight.  It takes true character and spiritual maturity on our part.
 
Let us be willing and obedient to God`s Word so that we make the right decision.  The fight against the flesh isn`t comfortable, but the end result of victory over the flesh and its` confrontational tendencies, is peace.  Peace inside and outside! (jw)
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
 
Ordinary People
 
You may look at yourself as just a normal, average, everyday ordinary person, and you may see that as a bad thing.  But I have good news for you…God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
 
Moses wasn`t born a great leader.  He even had a stuttering problem when he spoke.  Yet God used him to lead the nation of Israel.
 
The Apostle Paul was a short, rather whiny voiced man whose entire life had been built around becoming a leader in the Pharisees.  Yet God used him to start the Church and his epistles make up 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament.
 
So the next time you look in the mirror and think how ordinary you are, get yourself ready because God can and will do extraordinary things through you if you are willing and obedient. (jw)
Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:12
 
Fishing with Dad
 
As a child, my dad taught me how to fish.  I loved going fishing with him so much.  He always took his time with me, and made each trip to the lake special.
 
It wasn`t until I was older that I realized that my Dad never fished when I did.  Even though he loved the sport, he loved spending time teaching me, more.
 
Our Heavenly Father loves spending time with us, teaching us by His Holy Spirit.  Today He has a lot of information to share along with the wisdom of the ages.
 
Let`s enjoy this time with our Heavenly Father as He shows us Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you didn`t know.” (jw)
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