Not Giving Up

I admit it – I really didn’t like Engineering… it wasn’t my first choice let alone the second but I had to settle with it.  Family pressure and opinions.  Well, I really wish I had been assertive then but growing up in a traditional Hindu family, it came with the territory.  My dream had to become a Math professor with Psychology as one of my degree subjects to help understand students.  Anyway the fact is I ended up in Engineering Science at that too.  

One day I remember the head of the department calling me into his office and asking me what was happening to my grades.  He told me that I had the capability to get “B+” grades, which in his eyes was of good standard given the Engineering stream.  Anyway by God’s grace, I did complete the degree and graduate despite various setbacks. The course was intense coupled with design lab hours, computational lab sessions and mechanical workshops in addition to the numerous number of subjects and regular coursework.  (Ya, I did manage to make nails and a vice!!),

However, I do realise the degree in itself was not a waste for sure.  It helped me learn to work under pressure, to prioritise workload and also develop perseverance.  Giving up is easy but going the whole mile isn’t.  The culture today is chuck it out and get a new one when broken or damaged.  This “value” flows into our relationships today.  How often do we really try to work on relationships around us?

We discard people in an instant… the “block” facility on phones and FBs has made it very easy for us to use it.  Yes, there are indeed legitimate times where we need to use it.  But how often do we use it to take the easy way out?  How often do we run away instead of dealing with conflicts the way Jesus taught us to?

If your brother sins against you go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” – Matthew 18:5

This person is a “brother”, a sibling in the family of Christ and thus it is expected of that person too to be motivated by the love of Christ as a part of His body! It’s interesting to note that in the scenario of someone else sinning AGAINST you, Jesus asks us to “GO” to that person… This person is a “brother”, a sibling in the family of Christ and thus it is expected of that person too to be motivated by the love of Christ as a part of His body!  It takes HUMILITY to do that doesn’t it?  Besides it takes EFFORT to do so too!  Today we seem to often revert to texting or messaging or an email.  However, that doesn’t really help to clarify things.  More often than not the non face to face method can be misunderstood depending on the mood the recipient is in as that’s the emotions of the message that is comprehended.  “Can you please hear me out?” could be typed in a pleading manner only to be interpreted as being yelled out as already the person could be at defense and feel criticised.

Going to the person will help us talk things through, to discuss why what how where when and whatever else context there may be to the ‘issue’.  Face to face communication helps us hear the tone of voice as well as pick up the non verbal cues such as body language, posture etc.  These all make up about 93% of communication – so bear this in mind the next time you try to sort things out with someone.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone – Romans 12:18

As far as it depends on you we are told to (not suggested to) live at peace with everyone… Being at peace is to deal with conflicts and differences.  It is hard work and thus efforts to do so are required. We are not to take relationships lightly. However there is a clause “if it is possible”.  In Matthew 18:16-20 Jesus tells us the measures to be taken to resolve the conflict if the brother who has sinned against you refuses to listen.  

If our relationship with God was in the right place, we will indeed endeavour to work it out with each other instead of shrugging them off as we know that EACH person is created by God and in His image and likeness… We know that God sent His Son to die on the cross to restore us (everyone) into intimate relationship with our Father through Jesus Christ.  We are all equal in the eyes of God, there is no hierarchy or not one person is better than the other.

Even our relationship with God needs effort… Loving God aka pleasing Him entails constant decisions against the world or the flesh or pleasing man…We need to keep working at relationships with God despite the trials that come our way, and with each other… 

James writes a word of encouragement…

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything – James 1:2-4

and he also motivates us:

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy – James 5:11

 Let’s persevere in our relationships with God aka faith and in our relationships with each other especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.. It’s essential to be mature and complete in Him 🙂

 

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