We are all created uniquely. Even identical twins have their differences. Our finger prints are different. Our smiles are different. I can go on and on about our differences. Though we are created uniquely, we can find that we share similarities with others. That’s the fun part about embracing each other. We find our similarities and we enjoy our circle of friends. We begin to empower one another. We lock arms and we stand together.
What do we do when differences cause tension and conflict???
I have learned that there are two things that generally separate women and the church for that matter.
1) An offense.
An offense can take place in the church when someone has either brought correction or direction to you. We either feel that the person(s) is out of line or have wronged us in some way.
God has placed people over our lives for direction. I can’t urge you enough, that prayer is so important when it comes to dealing with offenses. We must learn to trust that God is always in control, He is working behind the scene even when we don’t feel that He is.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV
Gods word will not lead us astray. Sometimes, overlooking is not easy; but Gods word says that it is to OUR glory that we do. Why? Because, we will benefit from it! We will be at peace with others, and at peace with God. We must understand that God desires we unite with each other, through the obstacles of life — we shouldn’t allow an offense to cause disconnection in the body of Christ.
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 NIV
Holding onto offenses will not only hurt you, but it hurts the body of Christ (the church). If we are not careful we’ll find ourselves looking for someone to share our issues with. Someone who may have had issues with the same person who offended us. What was supposed to be “venting to a friend” can become gossip. Clicks begin to form, words are exchanged with others about hurts, and/or complaints and in the end; friends become separated. Leaving the church divided, rather than being unified.
If our hearts are not covered in Gods love and grace, we won’t be able to overlook an offense, or forgive someone for hurting us. Those uncharted territories will only hurt the church, rather, than build it up.
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2 NIV
True healing will only come from time spent with God. He’s the one we should go to FIRST for any kind of emotional issues in our lives. Our emotions can be misleading when they’re not lead by the Holy Spirit.
There is a difference between admiring someone, and trying to be better than them.
The only person you should want to compete with – is who you were yesterday. Trying to be a better you should be our goal as a follower of Christ.
Competitiveness comes from the inability to be happy for someone. We become intimidated that someone can be better than us; rather, than celebrating who God has created them to be. Because of insecurities, we can hold them back from flourishing into the Woman (or man) God created. This effects the spiritual growth of a person, and ultimately the church.
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” Philippians 2:14-15 NIV
Having the ability to be happy for others will cause you to shine bright. Bringing glory to our Father in heaven and strengthening the church for those, that the Holy Spirit draws in.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Let me be real for a moment; I have struggled in both of these areas. I have felt the darkness overshadow me from these issues. It left me unhappy – not only in my church, but in my home and even in my workplace. Not until I sought the Lords strong hand, was I able to overcome this battle. There is TRUE freedom in Christ my friends!
Much of my growing as a person has come from mistakes. I have made countless mistakes, BUT, I have grown in many areas because of them. Im thankful for every woman who didn’t hold back from telling me, what I was doing wrong. I can’t help but think – “where would I be in my walk with God if it wasn’t for those women guiding me and sharing the hard truths with me?!”
To often, we overlook the importance of this scripture; as iron sharpens, there will be sparks shooting out. So as is – in the church or around you need I say, we will experience the sparks with those around us. But if we allow ourselves to grow through them, we will come out stronger. Stronger as the body of Christ. Stronger as a people in this world.
Just last week we celebrated International Women’s Day. Women were embracing those around them, along with their own strengths and femininity. I did too! But, don’t forget to be a woman who isn’t intimidated to see God use those around you. Be a woman with integrity and humility! Celebrate those around you – not only those in your “circle”. Be of good cheer! God has great plans for you friend! Praying you see your strength and ability to walk into Gods design for your life – free of intimidation and fear.
I am woman – hear me roar! 🦁
Rest in Him friend,