Earlier in the week I had one of those challenging conversations with a good friend where we both said things that were hard to hear. We both left the conversation a little in certain about where we stood and also where our friendship stood.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week ruminating on the conversation whilst talking to God about it. Pride has continued to badger me with thoughts such as: “of course you’re right, Ian. He was wrong,” “he’ll never change,” and “just forget the friendship, it’s not worth it.”
Most of the time when such thoughts have hit me I’ve cried out to God to take them and rebuked “pride” to get off my back as he’s been defeated by Jesus. Funny, he’ll disappear for a while but then make his presence known with a similar thought but with a fresh twist.
“All of this is from God, who reconciled Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation …” (2 Corinthians 5:18)
This morning I read the above verse from the Wisdom Hunter devotional where it provided the commentary of: “we are called to the ministry of reconciliation. This is not an option but an obligation.”
And then a second devotional (yes, there was clearly a point God wanted me to understand) stated the above so succinctly:
“Elevate the person over the issue.”
Yes, God loves my friend and I am called to do likewise.
Bearing the stamp of Christ
“It is only when we obey God’s laws that we can be quite sure that we really know him. The man who claims to know God but does not obey his laws is not only a liar but lives in self-delusion. In practice, the more a man learns to obey God’s laws the more truly and fully does he express his love for him. Obedience is the test of whether we really live “in God” or not. The life of a man who professes to be living in God must bear the stamp of Christ.” (1 John 2:4 JBPhillips)
The above verse is pretty blunt. If we’re not doing what God says, we’re not only a liar but delusional.
Jesus always did what the Father asked Him to do. I wonder if the Father did ask, or simply told Him. Some of their conversations must have been rippers.
Imagine the one about having Judas Iscariot join the disciples. And what about Gethsemane? Everything in His humanness was screaming at Jesus to not do what He was about to do.
But He did it.
As much as I’ve struggled over the conversation with my friend this week, I received a new revelation today.
Choose my friend over the issues we spoke about.
When I prayed that I felt immediate release. Sure, pride no doubt will continue to badger, as is his way, but now I know what I’ve got to do.
Keep choosing him.
Jesus kept choosing us and, the glory of the Father, over Himself throughout His short 33 years of earthly living.
Obedience is my biggest struggle in my daily walk. Why?
Sometimes it’s because I’m not certain what to do; fear sure plays a part, and naturally my obstinacy or pride can be an inhibitor, eg, “But I don’t want to do that!”
But today I feel I won a small victory. It feels good.
Enjoy your weekend.