Arguments, divisions, tension is in the air. Don’t you hate being caught in the middle. Sometimes there is this unspoken expectation that you had better either choose a side or get out of the way cause the conflict is about to hit. The worst place to be is in the middle of the conflict trying to make peace, but sometimes that’s exactly where you need to be. The danger is that we often pick sides too soon.
It’s not always easy to see things from the perspective of others. Many times we are drawn into the conflict of someone close to us. We hear their side of the story and we are fiercely on their side. That’s called being a good friend. Of course, there are always two sides to every story, our friends aren’t always right. Is it really being a good friend to stand by them if they are wrong? I would say no. A good friend wants to stand by them help lead them down a path of righteousness, love and peace.
Proverbs 18:2 (NLT) Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
I’m not calling you a fool, I promise! We have all done this before right? We go into a situation firing off words and opinions. We’ve tried to bring correction to people and told them exactly what we thought of what they had done. It’s not wrong to share your opinion, unless you only know one side of the story.
Proverbs 18:13 (NLT) Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
Proverbs 18:17 (NLT) The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.
I had a situation recently where I very clearly heard one side of the story. I was angry and ready to get in there and solve the problem. Thankfully the Lord gave me a patient heart and a desire to find out more information before confronting the other person. Before even approaching the accused I realized that the situation was not what it seemed and both sides of the coin had a misunderstanding of the other. It’s hard to see eye to eye when you’re facing opposite directions.
Sometimes we need to keep our mouths shut, keeping our opinion to ourselves. We need to remain silent until we have more information about the conflict. We usually hear the side of our friends first and we believe them, but that doesn’t mean they are in the right.
Proverbs 18:4 (NLT) Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
I hope that I am able to bring wisdom into situations. It turns out that speaking wisdom does not require my opinion. I have many opinions, but I don’t have to voce them. The best thing to do is pray, seek the truth and turn to the Word of God to determine the best counsel.
We should all Search for the truth before running our mouth. A leader makes thoughtful deliberate decisions, not instant, rash choices based on partial information. Maybe you don’t see yourself as a leader, but if you ever find yourself in the middle of a conflict, guess what? You’re a leader in that situation. If you can’t find a way to keep your mouth shut and seek to bring peace, rather than stirring up the conflict, then you need to get out and bring in a peacemaker.
Matthew 5:9 (ESV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
As Christians aren’t we all sons and daughters of God? We are adopted into His family and we should work hard to make peace with everyone.
Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.