The other day, as usual, my 3 kids were bickering in the back of the minivan. I usually try to ignore these sibling rivalries, hoping the situation will resolve itself without any blood letting. But, this time their words had gotten particularly ugly and the insults they were hurling were pretty biting.
So, I decided to intervene by pointing something out to them that they probably had never considered. I asked them to imagine how they would feel if their dad and I constantly argued and called each other mean names. Then I had them think about how they would feel if our verbal fights escalated into physical confrontations like theirs often do. I explained that I was pretty sure that they would be very upset to see and hear two people that they love very much hurting each other I said that’s exactly how their father and I feel when they fight.
Despite this stroke of, what I considered, parenting genius, I am fairly sure that my insight was basically ignored. I know this because the kids resumed their argument pretty much the moment I stopped talking.
However, our discussion did impact me in an unexpected way. I realized that, just as it pains me to hear my children say and do terrible things to each other, it hurts our heavenly father when His children are unkind to one another. God tells us plainly how he wants us to treat each other in Galatians 6:10- Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Is there someone in your life who is a regular source of conflict? It could be anyone, a family member, co-worker, spouse, in-law, whatever. Now, try to imagine you and that person in the back seat of a minivan and picture God in the driver’s seat. You’re going to tell that person exactly how you feel about them. Remember, God is watching everything in the rear view mirror. What are you going to say to that person? How will you say it? Does the fact that you are preparing to talk to one of God’s children in his presence change your tone?
This visualization is not too far from the truth. God really does see and hear the things we say and do to each other. He even knows what is in your heart. Remember that the next time you’re facing a confrontation with someone and you may find that resolution comes much more easily.