Message From Matt – April 10

Something’s got to give!
I was driving on the interstate last week directly behind a semi that was wanting to get over into the slow lane but was blocked by a large van already there.  The semi was halfway in the lane before he realized that the van was there and had to swerve back into his lane. When the semi moved into the van’s lane, the van swerved onto the shoulder!  When the semi swerved back into his lane, the van moved off the shoulder!   After both the semi and van were in their original lanes,  the semi began to noticeably speed up to get around the van.  The problem then was that the van also sped up  so the semi couldn’t pass.  So, the semi slowed down…then the van slowed down!  The semi sped up…the van sped up.  This seemed to be going on for miles but it was probably only a mile or so before the van pulled off the interstate and onto his exit.  
These guys were both acting silly and their mild form of road rage thankfully ended peacefully but what a great illustration of human stubbornness!
Sometimes people (maybe your spouse, kids, co-workers or neighbors) get in your “lane”!  You are going along, minding your own business, and there they are…creating problems to make you swerve out of your lane!  
Oftentimes we can act like these drivers…wanting to retaliate and get our way!  Not wanting to surrender our right to be right.  But, when we do that, we end up looking as silly as these drivers but more importantly, we end up negatively affecting lives around us!   
It all can be avoided though.  What if we would give up our right to be right sooner rather than later?  What if we decided to surrender our will for the good of the other?  What if we decided not to respond in a negative, retaliatory way?  Wouldn’t that be so much better?
The great news is that we can!  You can swallow your pride and ask God to help you  respond in the appropriate way!  Take your verbal response to a person that has offended you for example.  Look what Solomon says in Proverbs 15:1“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  Your response doesn’t have to be ungodly!  Your response to harsh words can be directed by God to turn away the anger in someone else…to turn away anger in ourselves too! 
So, something has to give!  When it comes to your response to hard and painful things – your pride should be the first thing to go!  When we do that, you will be amazed how God will bless your good heart attitude and restore fellowship with others!