Figure it Out and Get Along
As a parent, maybe you can relate to this: you have been given beautiful, precious, and equally adorable children to love and nurture. Yet, the seemingly simple responsibility of these precious ones to get along with each other gets out of sorts, and instead of harmony and unity, they argue, they fight, they rant at each other, they pick on each other, and then proceed to tell you about it. I mean, you’re the parent so you can punish them, right? They believe that you hold the key to making the other one behave and stop the mess. But, at some point in the conflicts, the arguments, the tic for tac of your children against each other, you wonder why they can’t just get along? How hard can it be? They are siblings. Yet, each of them contribute to the conflict by verbally pointing out the things that the other is doing wrong, “He’s looking at me.” “She’s making a face at me.” “Tell him to stop it!” They cry uncontrollably, “Mom, he won’t stop!” While the instigator smirks by sticking out their tongue when you’re unaware. Get the picture? Awe, yes, the sibling rivalry season, always…in season.
As a parent, I think we have all been there and bought the shirt. Obviously, there is an ongoing rivalry between the children, which can breed frustration as a parent as you must witness their conflicts over and over. I mean, they are family, so what’s the problem?? They must be together because they live together, they’re related, and they will continue being in each other’s lives under the same roof, together! Why can’t they just get along??? Perhaps in your frustration you remind them by saying things like, “Come on, do we have to go through this again?” At some point, well, and probably at the point that you have reached your limit, you may scream, “Stop fighting! You guys have to figure it out and learn to get along!”
Fast forward to today, right now in time, our current world where there is severe civil unrest. People fighting to be heard, rioting to express their frustration and violence to express their disagreement with the injustices that keep occurring. Why should we be surprised that not getting along with one another seems to come more naturally than getting along with each other? Think about it, as children, we have learned to not get along with our siblings at home, or our friends at school. It’s been taught to us and almost engrained in us to be at odd with each other, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to see it continue into our adult years. It happened when we were children, until someone in authority, a parent or a teacher, or if you were in a close community, it was someone else’s mama who yelled, “Enough! Stop it, you all gotta learn to get along with each other!”
Can we just be real? It’s the enemy who makes himself famous amongst us by getting into our heads, through our emotions to find ways that divide us. Often, multiple ways, countless ways, big ways and small ways that point out our differences and justifies us defending ourselves with self-righteousness. In the heat of the moment, those evil plots always seem right and take precedence over the option of choosing to figure it out and get along.
The enemy’s tactics to steal, kill and destroy is old, but it still works effectively among humanity, so it continues strong. His divisive ways are often manifested through highlighting the differences between us. Even as children from the same family who share the same experiences and space, find reasons to have conflict instead of finding the commonalities of each other. The truth is we can't on our own figure it out how to get along with each other. We in of ourselves aren't able to effectively look past the differences that divide us. If we could, there would be no need for Jesus.
In the Bible, James 4:7-8, we read these words, “So then, surrender to God, stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony. Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. At the point of your choice to surrender to God and to resist the enemy, the enemy must flee from you. In his absence, you will have less and less of the reoccurring invitation to look for what divides you from others. And, as you draw closer and closer to God, you will find Him filling your heart with His love and compassion. Which allows us to find and focus on the similarities, the things that we have in common with others. That, coupled with an attitude of humility we will be in a position that allows us to be able to get along with each other!
Love, sweet love, is what the world needs.
P.S. You will never encounter anyone who God doesn’t love.