"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." - Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Brad Rymer, author of Where Is the Image of God in You?, does marriage counseling. Many folks he counsels have a high degree of determination. That does not mean it is impossible for them to change their minds or their ways. It just means it probably will not happen without a fight. Commonly a spouse will say after a grueling counseling session where the couple appeared to be upset with everything that occurred, "That was a hard session, but it sure was good!"
Determined people are often willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish something important to them. They are usually not afraid of a fight. The questions becomes this: Will they fight fair?
Ken Sande, founder of Peacemaker® Ministries, says there are three primary approaches to conflict.
- Peace-Fakers: those "more interested in avoiding conflict than in resolving it" - peace at all costs.
- Peace-Breakers: those "more interested in winning conflict than in preserving a relationship."
- Peace-Makers: those who look for "mutually agreeable solutions to conflict" - win-win solutions (22-25).
Consider this …
Why are we discussing conflict in our devotions about the character trait of determination? The things we are determined about generally involve some level of confrontation, so it is important to reflect on how we handle conflict as a first step in developing a healthy and godly use of determination.
Think about conflict resulting from your determination. Are you a Peace-Faker, a Peace-Breaker, or a Peace-Maker? Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9 NIV).
Father, help me be a better peacemaker. Help me get rid of anger and harsh words and replace them with kindness and forgiveness. You have forgiven me of so much . . . Help me be forgiving of others.
In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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