A solid strategy … not a bad word

Do you know how much energy I expend trying to figure out why some people do and act the way they do? How hard I try to figure out the best way to relate to certain individuals so they either respond in the way I think is appropriate… or at least don’t insult me?

With some, I struggle just to figure out how I can get them to flat leave me alone.

Conflict - cropI’m guessing you spend a fair amount of energy, too, trying to balance your interactions with other people, determining how best to communicate, convince . . . or simply not end up in conflict with them.

If we’re being honest here, it isn’t always a noble effort. It’s often about getting people to cooperate with our agenda, whether or not we want to admit it (or even realize it). Our motives can be highly suspect and frequently they’re rooted in pride and self-exaltation . . . or fear.

We get frustrated when things don’t fall into place. Don’t they see that mine is the best solution? Don’t they understand their viewpoint is wrong? Don’t they get it that they’re being obnoxious?

We end up at odds with whoever it is, perhaps at a dead end in an important relationship, discouraged, disappointed, and maybe with our ego in shreds.

Have you considered surrendering? I know, the very word is alarming and offensive to some.

I don’t mean assuming a posture of defeat, giving up and letting your adversary call the shots while you meekly acquiesce. I mean surrendering the other party – and the situation – to God.

Let’s face it, we can’t control others. We may be persuasive and charming and immensely articulate, but the final decision to listen to or cooperate with us is still up to that other person (and the same applies in our response to them).

If you and I believe God is capable of facilitating the growth of everyone involved (He is) and that He can handle the situation in a way that brings honor to Himself (He can), then we can exchange our own expectations for an attitude of expectancy.

We can be okay with not knowing how God will resolve our crisis and just trust.

I picture myself sliding my list of grievances, my haughty demands, my hurts and fears, across the table for God to read. He quietly acknowledges each one, then folds the paper, and places it in His pocket. I can let it go, knowing He will handle it.

Oswald Chambers calls this “gracious uncertainty”:

“Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in – but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.”

Surrender calls for us to let God have the last, loving word. (Is that as tough for you as it is for me?)

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About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

4 thoughts on “A solid strategy … not a bad word”

    1. He always comes through (on His own timetable) and His resolution is always the best. Sometimes I wonder why that is a lesson we have to keep learning again and again… Good thing God is so patient with us.

  1. the idea of surrender is so difficult that it has to be proactive! pride, anger, self-pity… these are the quick reactions. though they seem to require more energy, they actually require less. that’s we we so often revert to them first. when i am fully engaged, participatory and conscious, in the moment, i am better able to make the right decisions; surrender being one of them, but sometimes i am reactive and not proactive. great post!

    1. You’re so right, Mavis. Those negative responses are really cop-outs. It’s easier to get angry or default to a victim mentality. Being proactive is so much more productive in the long run.

Your feedback is welcome!