Good versus evil? Those are the stories we enjoy—seeing good triumph and put a stop to evil and injustice.
We love it when the goods guys overcome their differences and band together to defeat evil. Those are the stories we love seeing in our movie theaters, on TV, or in our books.
Good versus good, however, isn’t really the storyline we find ourselves gravitating toward. Two good guys tearing each other down doesn’t seem to make as much sense.
And yet, in our daily lives, the reality of good versus good doesn’t bother us as much as we’d like to think.
Brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, husband against wife, father opposing daughter?
We are all too familiar with the family and relational dynamics that are unhealthy and often go ignored.
The Lord reminds us of His desire for unity in relationships—”How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” (Ps. 133:1)—but we often view this statement as one that would be nice, but is not actually possible.
Strife and dissension can become common characteristics of our relationships quickly when we allow accusing lies to infiltrate our thoughts about others.
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (Jas. 3:16)
The accusations we believe can take a number of forms.
When someone forgets something that’s important to us we feel unappreciated.
When someone is unable to return the favors we once did for them we feel frustrated by their selfishness.
When a friend’s words hurt us, we feel personally attacked and are convinced their intent was to malign.
All the while we overlook, justify, and rationalize the festering hurt and growing pride in our own hearts.
We doubt others’ statements, not believing their words or the sincerity of their actions. We judge them based on what they do versus the good intentions they were unable to perfectly perform.
And sometimes the lies are less obvious to us.
When we rush ahead and cut others off in order to claim a spot in a shorter checkout line because we’re in such a hurry and have important places to be. The lies we believe cause us to favor ourselves as we harden our hearts against others.
To help us avoid cultivating the seeds of accusation, we must use the word. As we meditate on and believe the truth about ourselves and believe the truth about others, we are better able to live in unity. And when we take the word and the accusations of the enemy to the Lord in prayer we are set free to fellowship with our brothers and sisters with happy hearts.
Words to Live By:
“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (Jas. 3:18)
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Ps. 139:17)
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Ps. 139:13–14)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19–22)
The Transforming Power of Grace Pt. 2
Relationships: Communication, Expectations, and Healing Wounds
Complaint or Gratitude? A Life-Changing Mindset