James 3:17 (NIV) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
I have written on the subject of conflict many times in the past. Conflict tries to barge into and violate our life far too often. For most, conflict is painful to work through unless you have a hard heart and just don’t’ give a rip about people, or unless you’ve become skillful at working through it.
God wants us to love people to the very best of our ability. Conflict tries to undo that. For that reason, God doesn’t want us to love people with only our very limited capacity. He wants us to love people by His standard and with His capacity. The Holy Spirit within you makes that experience possible and will help you increase your capacity to love to levels you would and could have never believed. The Holy Spirit helps you have God’s revelation of love which greatly surpasses the definition of love most people have shaped in their mind.
Growing in God’s love will produce a strengthening of your character that will honor Him, produce fruit for Him, and that will serve you well all of your life. One of the strengths shaped will be the ability to restrain your thoughts and words from running wild in times of conflict, and instead submit them to the Lord. As you learn to do that, you will receive His peaceful and calming guidance and wisdom – something that IS a supernatural experience. Each and every time you let God’s love (vs. your love) work within you, this power is at work transforming your character. It makes you a better person more closely conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. It will serve you and Him well.
When conflict arises, the mental tennis of conflict, anxiety, arguments, and words start volleying back and forth in your mind. This is one reason people lose sleep. When they should be sleeping, their mind is in conflict racing out of control. It is at this point, you need to begin to take control. You do so by submitting all your thinking to the Lord through the filter of today’s Fresh Manna verse. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Imagine yourself working in a factory with thoughts coming down the line on a conveyor belt. You let the good ones through put you pick up the bad ones and throw them in the trash bucket by your side. Let today’s Fresh Manna verse become deeply rooted in your heart and memorize it. As you yield your thoughts to the Lord, let these words be the rudder and your guide of discernment for the thoughts you allow and the thoughts you trash from your thinking. Ask the Lord to help you rethink things trying to comply with the wisdom of this verse. James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Are your thoughts pure and rightly motivated by God’s standard? Are they peace-loving? Are they considerate? Are they submissive – taking in the other person’s side of the equation? Are they full of mercy and good fruit? Are they impartial (viewed with an open mind) and sincere? If they aren’t, dump them in the trash bin. If you think, “All my thoughts are trash,” then yield yourself to this verse and ask the Lord to help you rethink things with these words of wisdom and guidance as your rudder to guide all future thoughts – especially in conflict!
If you will let James 3:17 retrain and restrain your mind in how you think through everything, the love of God – His love – will begin to work mightily in your life. It will literally transform you. It will transform your mind in the way God wants it to be transformed. Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” This will produce the strength of restraint – the ability to be in control of your thoughts and words guided by the Holy Spirit at work within you. You’ll be able to restrain your tongue and not say things you regret. You’ll be able to capture thoughts instantly allowing right thinking and casting down wrong thinking. You’ll become more patient, more reserved, and one that operates in godly love and wisdom. Over time, you will literally be able to step back and observe just how God has transformed you into new person.
So, take some time and write these words down. Put them in your pocket and carry them around until you have committed them to memory. Take them to the Lord in prayer. You don’t have to wait till conflict comes. Start that conveyor belt and begin trashing any thoughts that don’t line up. Ask God to help you see things through His eyes and let His love help you see more clearly. The practice of restraint – biting your tongue and realigning your thoughts is life changing and will reshape who you are! It’s powerful! James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.