Conflict follows us everywhere we go. It’s on the news, the cover of magazines, and it’s in the palm of our hands on our smart phones. But, the most urgent form of conflict is the conflict that dwells within us. Christians are quite familiar with conflict, because we try so hard to be “holy,” when all we actually create is conflict.
Most of us, at one point in time decided that living by a set of rules was the safest route to go, only to find ourselves on the side on the road, while life continued to pass us by.
Conflict occurs every time we attempt to turn our love for God into a tangible (something you can see and touch) romance. We rely on what it looks like to others, instead of loving God for who He is and trusting Him to make the invisible visible to those longing to see. In an attempt to appear established, we often wear our relationship with Christ like a school uniform, one size fits all and as a result, we become clustered into a predictable group and lose the passion, spontaneity and personal connection required in any lasting relationship. Foolishly, thinking we are representing God well, when we actually look like love on the rocks.
Love on the rocks-Appearing to do the “right” things on the outside, while screaming in agony and discomfort on the inside. Most Christians with love on the rocks experience:
- Isolation– A self-made barricade between ourselves and the world. We are called to be in the world, but not of it. Jesus walked the earth, but He did not sin. His closest friends were not the elite of society, still He did not shun them. Why do we feel the need to hide from the very people we are elected to reach?
- Imbalance- A failure to find balance between church and home. Time spent with loved ones is brief to non-existent and needs go unmet.
- Guilt- An overwhelming reaction to various situations. This is experienced more often by tweens, teens and young adults in Christ. There is a strain between wanting to act their age, while at the same time “appear” to be above age-appropriate things.
In our self-attempt to be like Jesus, we become more and more unlike Him. Think about it, Jesus was always available, He welcomed all people and He never apologized for healing someone even if it was against the rules. The truth is, we make living for Christ harder than it has to be.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We don’t have to do anything but love God and live. Our relationship with Christ is designed to be custom for who and where you are in your journey. That’s good news, it means that Christ will perfect you and because He is at work in you, you can experience peace where conflict used to be.
If you stumble along the way, it’s okay: confess, repent and keep going. If you are experiencing love on the rocks, wave the white flag of surrender and enter into His rest.
Live your best life, one step at a time.