Thank you very much, John for this very important advice for us to heed as we walk forward on our journey of love with the Lord.
What you said reminds me of my relationship with my parents in-law. They both have very one-sided opinions about a lot of topics and can't accept another point of view, which is very hard for me (I think my husband is so used to this behaviour that it doesn't seem to bother him most of the time!) A lot of people say to me "oh, just leave them - there's nothing you can do" but because they're my parents in-law and my children's grandparents - and they only live a few miles away from us - , I want a better relationship with them than that if possible and slowly but surely, some little changes are happening and I'm sure the Lord wants me to carry on trying.
My big challenge after an attempt at trying to help them see the "other side of the coin" is not to feel guilty about having tried and then consequently turning the situation back on myself - as John says, it does a lot of damage.
And I have to keep remembering not to think that we must always try to fix things - if we listen to the Lord and walk with him, he will give us opportunities to act but it may not be straight away and we might have to be patient.
Thank you Nicky for that good practical example of what I wrote about. It highlights the challenge well because it isn't about walking away or cutting anyone off but about how we cope when there are different values. If we refuse to turn things back on ourselves it means we stay available and open, as appropriate, and can possibly still be a blessing to those who disagree with us,
Thank you John for this thought provoking insight. In my role as a Nurse my first priority is my clients , and leading the team to ensure high standards of care are implemented. I am not a natural leader and I dislike confronting other team members if their work is sloppy. However I had no choice as a health care assistant refused to carry out my instructions and other carers had also complained about their work. However due to their dismissive attitude I had no choice but to approach my Manager . Subsequently whilst knowing I followed the correct Complaints Procedure, I found myself feeling guilty about reporting this member of staff as they have quite a few personal issues outside of work and I feel compassion for their situation. My Manager is now taking this issue very seriously but nevertheless it is a difficult situation and I have certainly felt challenged.
Thank you Martina for another illustration of how important this principle is of knowing what is your responsibility and what isn't. For all of us, when facing those challenges, it is worth pausing and getting that issue straight in our minds - i.e. what or who am I responsible for here and what is outside of my responsibility. Then we have to settle it and keep our hearts at peace. God bless you in your important work.
Thank you John for this Bible insight which I just happened to read (or led to read).
I have been feeling responsible for my sons who have had a disagreement, the elder one feels his younger brother has made poor choices in his ways or life and has told him so. Now neither of them are speaking and not wanting to meet up. I have been feeling responsible in trying to get them to speak and to forgive but this isn't happening so started to feel I was failing them. This advice about giving them and their situation back to God and praying for them is what I know I need to do and just love them both and continue on my walk (albeit slippery at times) with God.
Halesworth Community Church