Peace & Perspective

Living in Peace by having the right perspective. Peace – ˈpēs Noun: Freedom from strife; a state of tranquillity or serenity. Perspective – per·spec·tive – pərˈspektiv – Noun: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.


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Writer’s Block, Already? I wanted to write about Peace.

I was all geared up to write an amazing blog on peace. I had a vision of what it was going to look and sound like. I typed away, I deleted. I typed again, I deleted. I exited out and saved it for later. I began again, I deleted. I had nothing. I was completely blank. That is very unlike me. I am never at a loss for words – ever.

When I began this blog, thoughts flowed through me at such an incredible pace, I was thankful remembering that I was once clocked at typing 98 wpm so I knew my fingers were able to keep up with my mind. I created lists that contained lists within them of all the things I wanted to share my perspective on. It was an explosion of information and thoughts.

But not recently. I had nothing. I was all tapped out. And I know exactly why. My mind is not and has not been at peace due to some awful outside influences which have been sent to distract me. I haven’t been in the His word, I am not seeking His wisdom and my head has been filled with Satan’s lies and confusion. Satan knows my greatest goal is raising Godly children, having a Godly marriage, and living a life in obedience to God’s word. He knows that I know that if I do these things, God will provide all my blessings, including true peace. He’s thrown many things at us in the past 10 years and now he’s using yet another tactic to tear our family apart in the hopes we will just give up and give into his dark kingdom.

Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

John 8:44

….when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

A great friend of mine always told me that when she gave me advice, it didn’t come from her but from the Holy Spirit. I was so thankful to have her give me truth in love and turn my thinking around. I admired her for giving credit to the Holy Spirit for her anointed words and they helped changed my life during some very difficult times. She was truly Godsent. As I’ve grown closer to God, surrendered to His will, meditated and sought wisdom from His word, I have also felt this anointing, mostly when speaking to my family. I don’t feel as comfortable sharing such deep and intimate wisdom with others who may not be ready to receive nor willing. But I feel that it is my role as a mother and wife to feed my family wisdom through God’s word. Many times, I stop and realize that I am being led by God with my words and am in awe of the wisdom that comes out of my mouth. This is not a prideful moment of me knowing it all, but it is a revelation of God guiding me with His wisdom. This wisdom that flows through me has proven to be real and true resulting in my children walking in righteousness and our family and my marriage being solid and whole despite everything sent to tear it apart.

Spiritual warfare is real and has been attacking our family for nearly 10 years. It is an unseen entity that tries to infiltrate a happy home, filled with love, unity, and righteousness and tries to destroy it through disease, turmoil, emotional pain, and people. I have seen it happen to my family and thankfully, we are a strong, convicted family and, by the grace of God, we continue to survive Satan’s attacks. If we didn’t live in obedience and surrender to Him, this wouldn’t be the case. I’ve watched it destroy families who are not as solid in their convictions and their obedience to God and they are left with nothing but devastation despite the façade they skillfully present.

If we let it, it can and it will consume us too. We must resist the temptation of Satan’s suggestions to participate in anything that is not of God. We know better. Satan knows he cannot get to my children, my marriage, and my family, so he is doing everything he can and using individuals who are spiritually weak to attack us on a continual basis. They are simply pawns in Satan’s game and are unaware of the stronghold he has over them. It’s quite sad seeing someone you once loved so deceived and unaware of the role they are playing in Satan’s kingdom.  All we can do is pray for their deliverance and only God can do that.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

The reason I began this blog was because my mind was filled with such revelations on so many issues and writing about them and sharing them was very therapeutic for me. I’ve been stifled for so long by so many, not able to tell my truth and I’ve allowed others to paint a false picture of me and who I am. This blog is my truth.

When I write, I feel like I am removing something tangible from my body and placing it somewhere else, feeling relief that it is no longer inside me. I know that this is the only way I am going to achieve peace — by getting my truth out of me. I’ve come to the conclusion that true peace may never occur in our situation and know now that the peace we strived for as a family,  is unattainable despite our efforts. That alone needs to be our compass for what peace and resolution look like in this particular circumstance and we must accept, “It is what it is!”

Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of peace that is defined in Webster’s Dictionary and the kind we would ultimately desire but sometimes peace is accepting the situation despite the outcome. It’s finally letting go and moving on acknowledging that it is out of our hands and a door has been closed, locked, and the key is thrown away.

Acceptance of an outcome you did not desire is a difficult thing. I had written all these wonderful adjectives describing peace: serenity, tranquility, contentment, etc. in my first attempt to write a blog on peace. While I completely agree that those adjectives contribute to my definition of what true peace is, they are only attainable under normal circumstances. Sometimes taking our peace back is as simple as acceptance despite the outcome. Ideally, resolution, reconciliation and the removal of strife equates to peace to most people, but not to everyone. When left in the wake of someone else’s delusional idea of peace (i.e., without resolution and continued strife), there are no other avenues to explore for peace other than acceptance.

This began as a blog on writers block. I guess I just wrote a blog on peace….without me even knowing it. Thank you, Holy Spirt.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Peace!


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Perspective – Be very careful…

It’s a simple word. A view point. An opinion.

Everyone’s entitled to their own perspective. I am pretty passionate about my perspectives on issues. Some wholeheartedly agree with my perspectives while others vehemently disagree with them. That’s fair. I like to think that my perspective is true and accurate and based not on my own selfish intentions but from wisdom. I imagine everyone thinks that.

The question is, where does the wisdom come from that leads you to your perspective? The answer to that question is pivotal to the basis of your perspective.

Have you ever asked yourself why you believe the things you do? This is where it gets sticky and uncomfortable. When our perspectives are based solely on our own mind, motivated by our “feelings” derived from environmental, social and cultural influences, our family and friends, and/or even ingrained habits without ever gathering true facts and exploring all sides of an issue, then it’s time to re-evaluate the validity of our perspective.

Here’s the thing about truth. Your truth may or may not be the real truth. It may only be an opinion. An opinion is defined as: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. While truth is defined as: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. Again, I imagine everyone believes that their perspective is the absolute truth but this is very false.

In order for me to consider another perspective, I must be cognizant of the resources which were used to form the perspective and if it can be substantiated. I cannot do this unless I openly listen to and consider the other perspective. It’s difficult to change our perspective when we firmly believe in something so passionately because we are convinced our truth is, in fact, the truth.

At times, I am truly enlightened and a new truth is revealed ultimately changing my perspective. Other times, I find that the perspective was only formed by manipulating truth in order to pursue one’s own selfish desires.

Should we realize that our perspective was incorrect, and the new facts that we were once unaware of but are now privy to have been verified, the next step is admitting our error. And, if we admit that we were wrong, then it would or, at least, should prompt us to change our behavior or lifestyle. That change may require a change in friends, environment, morals and desires. That is when we find ourselves rebelling against the truth because we want to stay where we are and keep doing what we’re doing. It’s easier to bend the truth for our benefit than to submit to the truth and change who we are and the life we live.

Here in the 21st century, truth is left open to everyone’s personal interpretation in order to meet our own personal desires. There is no longer an absolute moral standard. The truth is now whatever someone wants it to be. It is cleverly spun and twisted, redefined, and manipulated to prove a point and win a case. This is not only done with great delusion but accepted with great delusion.

Have you noticed that whenever the truth is twisted and redefined, it is usually done purely out of selfish motives by the very one attempting to twist the truth? Let’s be honest, no one ever changes the truth to bring unpleasant consequences to themselves. The truth that is beneficial to us remains unchanged. But the truth that prohibits us from our fleshly desires requires manipulating.

Many cultural issues are based under an umbrella of these newly revised truths. We have become desensitized by this culture’s need, regardless of its content by completely eliminating facts, to accomplish our desire to “do as thou wilt.” (Please Google that quote. A link is below to further inform you about this quote and Edward Alexander Crowley who is primarily known for his occult writings and teachings and founded the religion of Thelema.) This is contrary to everything God has commanded from us. His desire is for us to do His will and not our own.

Unbeknownst to many people, there is a real reason for all this delusion. Bible believing Christians call it Spiritual Warfare. The world has fallen under Satan’s strong delusion. His work is effortless as we’ve become numb to matters that once shocked us and screamed at our conscience. We remain stifled so as not to be labeled a bigot or a hater, and therefore, too few are left to make a change this world desperately needs.

Some great resources on the delusion of this world:

1. GOTQUESTIONS.ORG has a great article, “Why is God going to send a strong delusion in the end times?” http://www.gotquestions.org/strong-delusion.html

2. Grace To You’s website, http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ012413/how-will-god-judge-the-world-with-spiritual-delusion, explains: “How Will God Judge the World With Spiritual Delusion?”

3. Jesus-is-savor.com provides information on “Do as thou wilt’ and Edward Alexander Crowley, who is primarily known for his occult writings and teachings and founded the religion of Thelema. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/aleister_crowley.htm

4. And of course, my source for all things, the Bible. A simple gauge in which to discern whether or not God condones or opposes an issue is, if the world is for it, God is against it.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

(Delusion)

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

(Wisdom)

Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.

Proverbs 18:2

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

 


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The High Road

“The high road” is a very misused and misunderstood declaration by many during and after conflicts. Unfortunately, many do not seem to fully understand the real meaning of it. The very act of claiming to take the high road is not the high road!

Broadcasting what is supposed to be a very selfless act is really just a desire to appear better than someone else. The mere act of broadcasting it completely invalidates it. An insatiable need to tell everyone that you took the high road in a situation is a premeditated mission to make the other person look bad. You are expecting to receive admiration and praise from others for your “good deed” and are even hoping that others will side with you and turn against the other party because you are so admirable. And certainly, posting that you took the high road on Facebook or any other social media outlet is the exact opposite of the high road. To anyone with a genuine heart and a standard of true ethics, this declaration made by you is completely transparent and portrays who you really are and what you are really trying to accomplish.

To those who feed into your desperate need for attention and admiration at your attempt to boast about your integrity, they are just as ignorant in their response. Comments are sure to consist of and insinuate negativity about the other party all while inflating your ego as they elaborate about how wonderful of a person you are doing exactly what you had hoped. Sadly, they also do not understand the true meaning of the high road or integrity for that matter.

Taking the high road is an unspoken, humble, and selfless stance in a conflict. It does not come from anger or sass. It has no pride. It is not an avenue of control or belittling someone else. It is not for the admiration or praise of others. It has no malice behind it. It doesn’t seek to hurt anyone or to make ourselves appear better than anyone else. It has nothing to do with anyone but you and your true integrity. It means you don’t contribute to a conflict and morally choose to do what is right. You remain peaceful and surrender so as not to escalate a conflict further and make every attempt at peace, reconciliation and compromise. It is not done out of superiority. It is a genuine act of remaining hopeful that the conflict will be resolved at some point and you sincerely want the best for everyone involved. It means you are willing to work toward resolution and peace. There is no anger, hate or vengeance involved and there is absolutely no smearing of or attempts to make the other person appear like the villain and you the saint. When you truly have taken the high road, no words are necessary for others to see your true character. “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16-19

In summation, the high road is a selfless act of choosing the morally correct response in the name of peace and reconciliation without having to advertise to anyone how wonderful you are. You quietly surrender and allow your life be a reflection of who you are and the ethics in which you live by. You pray for peace in the conflict and are willing and ready to resolve it understanding that you may either have to take accountability for your actions and apologize or extend grace and forgiveness.  That my friends is the high road!

If more people truly took the high road, imagine the conflicts that could be resolved, the feelings that could be spared, and the peace that would result.

Matthew 7:16-19

16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, by their fruits, you will know them.

 

Have you misunderstood or misused what the true meaning of the high road really is? Have you intentionally declared taking the high road only for the admiration and praise of others all while attempting to belittle someone in the process? Has this perspective helped you so that you can better respond to future conflicts, truly take the high road and work toward peace?

I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and share your perspective. If this has been helpful, please consider sharing and following my blog. 


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“We as a nation can not allow our political differences to divide us and lead to acts of aggression and strife. We must always be respectful of one another and take the time to listen to alternative perspectives. If we do so, I believe that we will discover that things that unite us far outweighs the things that divide us. As President Abraham Lincoln famously said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand“. I pray that God will work in the lives of the American people to heal our land and bring us to a place of peace.”  ~ Dr. Ben Carson


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Conflict

Conflict. Cultural differences. Injustice. We’ve all experienced them.

Conflicts are draining. Some more than others. Some are able to be resolved quickly and amicably with no future repercussions and no scars left behind. Others drag on infinitely and are brutal. Some are one time deals, others seem to crop up more frequently. It all depends on who is involved. I once heard a saying, “If Susan has a problem with Bob, and Matt has a problem with Bob, and Jim has a problem with Bob, then its sounds like the problem is Bob.” Now that’s a pretty clear perspective.

No one is exempt from conflict. Whether it is on the job, between friends, in the family, or even out in the world minding your own business interacting with people, conflict is sure to arise at some point. Those who are rude, arrogant, selfish, or superior, rightfully offend us.

Did you know you have a choice of how to respond to a conflict contrary to your instinctive reactions to participating in it and making it worse?

Seems like a silly question, but I think that many of us feel that when conflict arises we must initially fight back at the same level, contribute to the nastiness, and participate in the escalation. How refreshing to know that we don’t have to do this.

We all have a choice as to how we respond to conflict and what the final outcome of any conflict will ultimately be. We either contribute to the nastiness of the conflict or we can seek to resolve it. Sometimes, we simply must remove ourselves from conflicts entirely when we see no possible resolution and we’ve done everything we can to attain peace.  That’s when we walk away to find our own peace.

We are either a fighter or a resolver in a conflict. Those who are fighters, impulsively react in anger only escalating the conflict. They aren’t looking for a resolution, that’s not on their agenda. They only want to display their anger, dictate demands and cause chaos. They want to control the situation.

Resolvers assess the situation and try to find common ground in order to resolve the conflict. Resolvers try to reason with the initiator of the conflict doing everything in their power to avoid it and fix it. You can’t reason with a fighter. They just want to fight.

Should you be lucky enough to be in a conflict with another resolver, then there will be no drama and no ugliness. The conflict will quickly conclude with both parties reaching peace with each other, happily putting it behind them and consciously considering each other’s feelings in the future cultivating a path of growing a healthy relationship and working on any flaws together. Ah, normality!

The initial onset of a conflict arises when one person begins to question or control another’s behavior or viewpoint. Sometimes it’s justifiable. Other times, it’s unwarranted. Unwarranted conflicts are when the “pot stirrers” find a problem with everything, are eternal victims, never happy, don’t respect anyone else’s viewpoint, have no accountability for their actions and have a sense of entitlement. They practice no self-control with their anger, want to control everything, and things turn ugly fast. These are the conflicts that cannot be resolved and you must walk away from them in order for you to find peace.

Times when conflicts are necessary include feeling like we are being taken advantage of, disrespected, controlled, or otherwise being treated unfairly. This prompts us to confront the offender. I would imagine everyone who initiates conflict feels this way. Two points: 1) Resolvers confront issues. Fighters start a conflict. There is a huge difference. 2) This statement presumes that one’s perspective of these situations is a reasonable and an accurate assessment of an offense. Expectations of preferential treatment and entitlement are not reasonable assessments. The norms in which society is expected to behave are considered reasonable here.

Once that confrontation takes place, it can go one of two ways depending on the parties involved. Acknowledging the wrong behavior, apologizing, and vowing to correct the behavior in the spirit of reconciliation and harmony, or it can turn into an ugly retaliation consisting of ultimatums, accusations, and more disrespectful behavior.

Not all confrontations need to be conflicts. Two rational, mature adults airing their differences can come to a compromising resolution if they both desire it. One person cannot do this alone. There have to be two people involved in a resolution. Two people who respect the other’s point of view and care enough about each other to resolve the issue. It’s impossible to move on without resolution after a conflict and not have resentment. This resentment will only result in future conflicts. No psychiatric degree needed for this conclusion.

In normal conflicts, people eventually cool down and assess the situation and truly want to come to a resolution. In situations that escalate due to the unwillingness to resolve issues and any attempts at peace is not a conflict, its control, and manipulation.

I surround myself with those who want peace and resolution in conflict, understand that differences of opinions will arise and know it’s not a cause for hateful revenge. My “circle” is filled with genuine people who seek to nip issues in the bud and resolve them as soon as possible. For us, conflicts eat away at our soul. They play over and over in our mind and we obsess about making it right. We have an uneasy and unsettling feeling in our being that we want to eliminate so we resolvers do anything we can to make peace – up to a point.

Fighters will continue the conflict, at any cost. They simply don’t care who they hurt along the way or the destruction they cause and refuse to compromise or take accountability, projecting all the blame in order to come out looking “right” or the one who has been wronged and making the other person look crazy. Why would one choose to be around this behavior? Walk away and have peace.

Conflict resolution is very simple and can be attained by two healthy individuals. Rationally talking things out in a calm manner, learning, understanding, and respecting the other’s viewpoints, taking accountability, and coming to an amicable agreement on how to move forward is not that difficult. Pride and stubbornness will always hinder a resolution. Anyone not willing to make these simple efforts truly does not want to resolve issues and reconcile. There will never be peace in these situations and it is highly likely that another conflict is just around the corner with people like this. Cut your losses and live in peace.

Are you a fighter or a resolver in a conflict? Do you recognize any of the traits listed above in yourself? Are you willing to admit that you could do better in conflicts, resolve them sooner and without being so harsh? Or are you the resolver who has done everything you can to resolve a conflict and have been rejected at every attempt at peace? Did you learn anything new from my perspective on conflicts? If so, please share your comments and consider following my blog. Stay tuned for my next blog, Taking the High Road, Part 1, followed by Taking The High Road, Part 2,  A list of do’s and don’ts for truly taking the high road in conflicts.