I work hard to create peace for myself and the people around me.
Reference: “Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”” Genesis 32:28 NIV
Explore: My general disposition is to avoid conflict in my life. There are a small percentage of people that love the challenge of some rugged debate… I am not one of them. I work hard to create peace for myself and the people around me.
However, even with my best attempts at peace, this is not always possible. There are times when my children’s behaviour pushes me over my calm edge and when people attack me unjustifiably.
It’s at these times when I find myself wrestling verbally with another person as well as wrestling with my inner self as to why I have become so upset. Each time I find this process unsettling.
And yet, as long as I maintain my integrity, these times of wrestling can actually help me to grow and learn. It helps me to define my passion and my purpose and gives me a voice that I may have previously suppressed.
The challenge is to stay respectful and controlled when you are put in a difficult position.
Application: Jacob, one of the founders of our faith, found himself wrestling with God and man. Just because he followed God’s laws did not mean his life was seamless.
His wrestle with “the man” in Genesis 32 reveals a lot about Jacob. His strength, his tenacity and his desire to finish well. He did not want the man to leave until he had received a blessing from him.
The finish of an argument can be challenging, especially if you have not found common ground. It’s not like on the TV when someone has the last word and then they cut to another scene.
Often the people we wrestle with are those we see every day. And those we need to continue to be in fellowship and in relationship with.
This is where Jacob’s desire to end well is a great lesson for us. We don’t always have to agree in the end but work hard to come to a respectful understanding.
Prayer: Lord, relationships can be challenging at the best of times. Help us to stand up for what we believe is right, but to do so in a respectful, gracious manner. Amen.
What kind of wrestle are you experiencing at the moment?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.