A Necessary Cool-Off Period: How to Address Interpersonal Conflict

A Necessary Cool-Off Period: How to Address Interpersonal Conflict

If you have ever been angry with someone or about something and then reacted in a way that you regretted afterward, then you can understand the importance of taking time to think things through (in observance of the wisdom of Proverbs 19:2). However, just as it is important to observe a “cool-off” period, it is equally important not to let so much time pass that the purpose of addressing the issue is diminished (Ephesians 4:26). God, the author and perfecter of time, provides a blueprint for how to address difficult issues with reasoning and accountability while still loving those He confronted. As I read through the popular bible story, commonly referred to as “The Curse,” I gleaned a few life lessons and made some interesting observations regarding how God went about addressing a difficult issue with Adam and Eve. Let’s take a closer look.

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The Two-Fold Nature of God’s Purpose

The Two-Fold Nature of God’s Purpose

The story of Jesus feeding the five thousand is quite popular for the miracle shared, but, as I read through this text, God highlighted a few details that are equally important for those who He has called (hint: that includes you). Without further ado, let’s get into the story.

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.

The “it” referred to at this point in the story is John the Baptist’s beheading. If you are at all familiar with the relationship he had with Jesus, then you understand how devastating this news must have been to hear (Jesus was baptized by John, who was given the special assignment of preparing the way for Jesus before his arrival and public confirmation by God (see Luke 1:5-25). The story continues:

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A Story of Commitment & Unexpected Blessing

A Story of Commitment & Unexpected Blessing

The biblical book of Ruth is often referenced for the story of how Ruth met and married Boaz. While that story holds many important themes, today’s focus is the relationship between Ruth and Naomi. Ruth is a woman who is from a place called Moab. Naomi meets her after a long journey from Bethlehem, Judah (her home country) to Moab and some difficult years, following the loss of her husband. Naomi had two sons, named Mahlon and Chilion. These Hebrew sons married two women from Moab, Orpah and Ruth. The story reports that they stayed in Moab for about ten years before both Mohlon and Chilion die. At this point, things seem a bit bleak for these women. The story makes no mention of either of the wives bearing children. All they have left is each other. In a patriarchal society, that was a great disadvantage. However, as these women begin a new journey, things take an enormous shift in a new direction, though they don’t know it at the time.

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The Importance of Godly Community

The Importance of Godly Community

In the biblical story of the garden of Eden, we are introduced to the scene of the serpent starting a conversation with the woman we now know as Eve. He begins their discourse with a question:

“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 2:1 NKJV)

Let’s pause there for a moment. Whether they were already speaking before this or not is unknown, but, either way, something about the question foreshadows the serpent’s intent. He brings up a topic that involves a third party who is not present.

Lesson #1: Be wary of people who gossip. Godly community does not entertain hearsay.

Sounds simple enough. Let’s continue…

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