Do you find yourself butting heads with someone? Maybe it’s with your husband, your wife, or your boss. You have a conversation … but it feels more like a tug-of-war. One person says something, then the other … and before you know it both of you feel frustrated. You both want to get your point across … you both want the other to understand … your view … you both want something … and neither one wants to give in to the other … neither one wants to be the one to concede the underlying fight … the underlying battle. However, unless one person chooses to become willing to yield … willing to submit… willing to surrender their need to be right … their need to have the last word … their need to have the final say … the end result will be like locking horns … with no way in sight of how to get untangled. You see, there can’t simultaneously be two heads … it will just lead to chaos, confusion, and catastrophe. That’s why there is usually a chain of command or an order to how things are run. Perhaps this is why the Bible says in Ephesians 5 that we need to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. When we are revering Christ we show that we are respecting His way of doing things … and His way of doing things is always rooted in love … the kind of love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13 … love that is not rude or self-seeking but, rather, love that is patient and kind. In any relationship both individuals need to be willing to submit … willing to yield to the other as necessary. This doesn’t make one person better than the other. This doesn’t make one person a doormat and the other person dominant. This makes both people responsible to care enough about the other person that they are willing to show true love … they are willing to let it go when a conversation becomes heated and it is clear it’s better to drop it rather than insist on being the one to be right … the one to win. In reality, the only way to win is to surrender. In that regard you are winning the war against animosity, anger, and anguish … you are winning by showing true love … you are winning by keeping your relationship with the other person intact … knowing that your relationship is worth far more than being right … far more than being the one to dominate. So, how in the world can you do this? How in the world can you find the strength of character to actually submit to one another and show that you are revering Christ’s way of doing things? Only through a personal relationship with Christ Himself. Only by allowing yourself to submit to Him so that His unconditional love will be able to flow through you to other people. You see, we can’t do it on our own … in our own strength and in our own power. Galatians 5:16 lets us know that when we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit we will not gratify the desires of our sinful nature … desires that include selfishness and bickering … desires that may make us feel good but are harmful to ourselves and others. So, the timeless truth for today is this: If you don’t want to butt heads with those you care about, lock horns with Jesus … connect yourself to Him in such a close and personal way that His love flows through you to other people … then you will truly be able to submit yourselves one to another and enjoy peace.
Have you ever looked directly into the sun? Knowing it was a bad idea perhaps you looked away quickly only to see spots before your eyes from where the brightness temporarily blinded you. Trying to get your bearings, you blinked several times, shook your head and tried to refocus so you could see clearly again. It probably only took a minute, but in that time, if you had stopped to think about it, it wasn’t any fun to be blind. Not being able to see – even temporarily – is a challenge to say the least. The people who have to deal with it everyday may learn to cope with it – because they have to – but I’m sure they wouldn’t wish it on anyone. In our everyday lives, we often have blind spots (areas in our lives that we are blind to). Perhaps we have had others try to tell us about issues that we need to deal with so we can overcome them and live a more balanced life. Perhaps others have even repeatedly pointed out things in our lives that really and truly needed to be worked on so everyone involved would get along better and be more productive. Or perhaps no one has said anything because they are afraid – afraid the other person would only take it the wrong way and lash out at them in anger (thinking the person speaking was only trying to control them when, in reality, they really did have only the best of intentions to help). So, the question today is, do you have blind spots in your life? (Or do you know someone who does?) If so, what is something that can be done to help the person involved “see the light”? Consider these verses found in Ephesians 4:15,16 (NIV), “ … speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” So, did you catch that? Love … that is the answer. Speaking the truth in love to someone who has a blind spot will help them to grow and mature. It is beneficial to everyone involved. As each person does their part – one person humbly and lovingly talking, encouraging, and being honest with the person who has a blind spot (in a sincere effort to “build up” the other person so they can grow and mature and have a better, more positive life) – and the other person humbly and lovingly receiving the first person’s words of wisdom (being open to change and open to instruction) … when that happens, it’s a win-win for all involved – everyone grows and matures in the process. So, today, remember the timeless truth of speaking in love … there’s nothing like it to shine light on the blind spots of someone’s life!