“If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.” Philemon 18-19
Have you ever watched a young child eat spaghetti? It’s the best! They have no shame. They attack the plate of pasta with reckless abandon!
By the end of dinner, they will have noodles hanging from their elbows to their ears. As we grow older we get better at avoiding messy situations. In fact, we don’t just avoid messes, we intentionally try to avoid them.
A visual image of this is when someone will “clean” their house by pushing things under the bed or into the closet. Unfortunately, we often try to do the same thing when difficult situations arise. Sometimes we think that these challenges are “out of sight, out of mind.”
In his book, The Peace Maker, author Ken Sande writes on a biblical system for resolving conflict. It is captured by “The Four G’s”:
» Glorify God
» Get the log out of your own eye
» Gently restore
» Go and be reconciled
Rather quickly, you’ll notice that none of those steps allow us to hide things under the bed in the hopes that the conflict will resolve itself.
Just like a child doesn’t run from the messy nature of a plate of spaghetti, you and I must be willing to enter into messy situations so that we can experience true peace.
Lord, I confess to you that the messy situations of relationships are difficult. Help me to have enough compassion and love to enter into these situations rather than hiding or running from them. Amen.