“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2
Hello again! Middle of the week…or “hump day” as some people (or Geico) would say. We’re continuing in our series about lessons that I’ve learned from working with Collin and Wyatt. Today, the title is, “Frenemy: Maintaining the Right Focus.”
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s all about the perspective”? I’ve found this to be so true in my life, and I’m sure many of you who are reading this can relate. You will get out of something what you put into it, and the mentality you have during something is extremely critical to determining the outcome.
Not all things are worth ruining your friendship or relationship with someone over. In fact, most (if not all) things are not. If you have siblings or parents that you live with, you understand that conflict is going to happen. I would say it is pretty much unavoidable. When you put a lot of selfish, sinful people under one roof, sparks are bound to fly. And you know that if you don’t resolve the conflict, everything can get really ugly really fast. If everyone in a family that lived together decided not to allow any room for compromise in their selfishness, that place would be a wreck. A big one. But for all of you who live with a family, you know that compromise and conflict resolving are necessary and vital skills to living with other people.
In the same way, when you have a friend or sibling that you’re really close to, you have to keep the right focus. You have to realize that getting your way about a minor detail is not worth upsetting them and hurting your relationship with them over. When I wrote about dividing issues a while ago, I wrote that most things are not worth dividing over when you are working with someone. And the same applies for relationships. If you “test the water” and draw the conclusion that the other person really doesn’t want to give or discuss the issue at hand, you have to make a decision. Evaluate what is really important. In some cases, the issue might very well be more important that that relationship. But the best you can do, no matter the situation, is to pray about it and work through some steps mentally to decide what’s really important. You might be surprised to find that often, you can give a little. I know this has been very true for me.
We are called to live in unity. A couple posts ago (from this series), I listed many verses that have to do with unity. One of my favorites is Psalm 133:1-
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
When people are united for something, they are usually far more effective than when there are individuals working towards something. The same applies to all areas of life. Your family “runs” better when all people inside are living in unity. A company is more efficient when they are all working together. Likewise, a soccer team (or any sports team) cannot win unless they work as a team and play in unity.
God does not want Christians to be divided. When there is division, it distracts us from the big picture. Sometimes, there are divisions that need to happen in order for God to work. But divisions need to be avoided as frequently as possible.
When there is unity among believers, God is glorified and more people are reached more effectively for His Kingdom.
Keep the right focus. That’s all it takes. Whether you are working or living with someone, you will have times where you need to make a decision about how you will handle a situation. Maintaining the right focus is crucial to making the right decisions. You have to know when to back off and take a look at the situation to make a decision. Making a decision is one thing, but making that decision that honors Christ is another. We have to realize that what we want is not worth fighting with someone over, and this comes back to selfishness. Having a Godly focus will make it much easier to be selfless.
Ok- I’ll just get this out there: I’m a control freak. I love knowing when and where everything is going to be, but I have a seriously hard time “letting go.” It’s one of those situations where you know what you should do, but you just have a really hard time doing it. I just need to let it go.(Please don’t start singing the song from Frozen!) I’m still learning this. I’m guessing it will be one of those things I never really get the full “hang” of.
I like to be on top of everything and everyone when it comes to getting tasks done. So, when Wyatt and I agreed to start Myth Busters for Christ, I did my whole part of the site really quickly. Unfortunately, Wyatt had a much harder time getting around to it because he was in the process of moving. Well, you can probably guess what happened next! I was on top of him periodically for several months, reminding him to do his part. And I kept it up. I was getting frustrated because he couldn’t find time to do it, and he was frustrated because I wouldn’t leave him alone. Not good. I was so focused on him doing what he said he would do that I missed the bigger picture that I was making it really difficult for someone to get along with me because I wasn’t giving him any room.
This next bit will show you that I’m still struggling through this! Just a couple months ago, after we started the blog, I’d notice that someone wasn’t posting on their “scheduled” day. So, next time that day rolled round, I sent them a friendly reminder that they were supposed to write. I should’ve stopped with one, but I kept doing it. Eventually, they got tired of it and I got the hint that I was hurting more than I was helping.
All of this goes to show that you have to know when to stop, and you have to know what is important. I could’ve easily lost a very good friend in Wyatt. Thankfully, he was mature enough that that didn’t happen!
Keeping the right focus is difficult enough. But without being rooted in Scripture, it becomes a whole lot harder. This next week (and for the weeks to come), make an effort to prepare yourself for conflict by being in God’s Word at least once a day, if not more. I have a hard time doing my personal time with Him in the morning, but I’ve found (and heard from many people I respect) that when you have your quiet time in the morning, it is much more profitable because that is how you start your day. And when you start your day with that, it usually gets your mind geared in the right direction.
So, this week, you (and I) will be making an effort to have our prayer time in the morning before we “begin the day.” This will prepare us for conflict and give us the proper focus.