Remember the counterculture era soul song from 1969 entitled, “War?” It was an anti-Vietnam War protest song and a timely reminder that no one likes war. However, there are times when a line must be drawn in the sand and enough is enough. America has been watching the brutality of ISIS and this group of terrorists crossed the line. It is time to take action. The ISIS War is a personal reminder of our own relationships.
Have you ever had to take a stand? Is it easier to sit back and hope IT goes away? Many times not taking a stand in the short term can be more costly long term. Have you ever encountered problems that require swift and decisive action? How do you respond when you are attacked? Of course, handling personal relationships is much different than dealing with global conflict. But the questions spawned are thought provoking. This is one of the reasons I wrote my book, “Bury Me with My Pearls.” Although the book is very funny, I tackled a difficult time in my life and addressed it in a chapter entitled, “Dark Pearls.” I needed to learn how to handle difficult relationships beyond my control. Here is one my stories from the “Dark Pearl” chapter.
Pigs Don’t Wear Pearls
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6).
Of course, the words of Jesus are allegorical. The meaning is pretty simple to figure out; we should not persist in offering what is sacred or of value to those who have no appreciation for it, because your gift will not only become contaminated and be despised, your generosity could also be rebuffed and perhaps even openly attacked.
My mother told me never to let anyone make me turn and walk the opposite way. I disagree. If someone is determined to hurt you, run. Do not associate with them. They have lost your respect and your relationship. The only power you have is to pray for them from a distance.
The word of God teaches when it comes to matters of the church to confront that person after prayer with principled behavior. If this does not work, approach them again with a witness. The Apostle Paul says in Matthew 10:14, If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet.
Sadly there are circumstances where people are just plain mean. In Henry Cloud’s book, Changes That Heal: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future, Dr. Cloud encourages us to stay away from hurtful people. Psalms 129:1-4 assures us that God has cut us free from the cords of the wicked.
I have two suggestions when you feel overwhelmed with issues beyond your control. Find a large field with soft grass and lie down. Look up at the clouds. Realize that you are small part of this vast universe and God is in control. Your issues may decrease when you view the magnitude of the heavens. The other suggestion is to find a railroad track and watch a train pass by. Trials in life can be like a freight train. Eventually the last car will pass. This will remind you that just like that freight train, this too shall pass.