When people don’t get along…and it’s Holiday time.

28 Nov

The holiday season… the most wonderful time of the year!! Unless that is, you come from a broken family.

The pictures, the movies, the television shows…. they often play out the scene of a family laughing, playing games, opening presents, and genuinely enjoying each others company.

This is not because it is reality for most of us, it’s because it’s a dream for most of us.

Remember the television series “Friends”.  It was incredibly popular!! Was it because it was reality? No.  Not even close.  Reality proves that most people are desperate for even one person they consider to be a real friend.  Let alone, 6 best friends who always get along, quickly work things out, date each other – break up and still remain best friends, live in the same building, are always available to hang out, and on and on and on.

The point is, while we all want the Holiday season to be happy and loving – filled with incredible family time, it often is not reality.

Here is the typical family break down. (And if this doesn’t apply to your family…. PRAISE GOD!!)

Somewhere in the mix are at least, but definitely not limited to, two people who do not get along.

Here are the 3 main reasons why they don’t get along …

1.) an offense that was done on purpose or unintentionally, which has led to a long-standing grudge and a mile long list of bitterness & unforgiveness.

2.) a case of ice-cold jealousy.

3.) or completely different personalities which usually entangles in morals, beliefs, preferences, accepted behavior and activities.

– Speaking on offense.

If you’re the person who has caused the offense either on purpose or unintentionally, do your part to apologize.  It doesn’t matter if the person deserves the apology or not.  Apologizing gives no weight to their behavior at all.  All apologizing does is gives proper ownership to OUR OWN actions.

After apologizing for our part, be willing to forgive their part… even if they don’t ask for it.  Their grudge against us has no weight if we’ve forgiven it.  You can’t render an offender any more useless than to forgive them. It really is the most powerful way to stop them.

But here is the MOST important thing to remember of all…. ESPECIALLY if you offended the person on purpose in the past but have since repented, or have a history with this person before being saved, or before maturity in Christ, or even just before maturity in actual age.

Your identity, ministry, and purpose in life is

ABSOLUTELY NOT defined by their unforgiveness of your

past mistakes.

God’s forgiveness reaches FAR BEYOND their grudge and

He makes people new.

Sometimes we become so guilt-ridden or intimidated by their hatred, that we start to live in fear, shame, embarrassment, hiding, and punishment.

If you’re the grudge holder… maybe you need to go back and read that heading again but substitute yourself in there.  I’ll help you.

His/Her identity, ministry, and purpose in life is

ABSOLUTELY NOT defined by MY unforgiveness of

his/her past mistakes.  God’s forgiveness reaches FAR

BEYOND my grudge and He makes people new.

– Ice cold jealousy.

If you’re the person someone is jealous of… be sensitive. If they are jealous of your money… don’t talk about it.  Don’t dress to impress on purpose, brag about your latest purchase, show up with ridiculously expensive presents, or try to “complain” about money. If they are jealous about your marriage, don’t be flashy and express unnecessary PDA in public.  That doesn’t mean you should be mean to your spouse.  Don’t take extreme opposite measures, but be sensitive.  God’s word advises us to be careful of making our brother/sister stumble.  Being sensitive to areas they struggle is an obedience to God on our part.

If you’re the one who is jealous, name it.  As I always say, you have to name the sin, say the sin out loud, repent of the sin, and then tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to avoid the temptation toward the sin in the future.  In light of eternity…. we can’t take a single procession with us, only people.  Is it worth sacrificing the relationship, which is eternal, because of the jealousy over the material, which is temporary, for the short time on Earth?  It isn’t when you say it out loud like that.

– Different personalities, beliefs, and behaviors.

This can be REALLY hard!!  Sometimes for a Christian, when non-christians are around you, they intentionally act against your beliefs on an elevated level just to push your buttons.  I talked about Mercy a GREAT DEAL in this post.  Here’s the challenge, you have to tap into mercy to appreciate the situation.  Stop looking at how it makes you feel and start looking at what is real. They absolutely need the Savior or they or going to spend eternity in Hell.  We have the ability to express mercy for the lost, if we remove ourselves from seeing it “as personal.” Not to mention, we were all lost once right?  Remember this truth – you’re simply showing someone something that had to be afforded to you.  It’s not a time to hate or take things personally, it’s a time to feel a deep level of mercy, and love them through their sheer rebellion.  Retaliation never wins soles, but love does daily!!

I hope as Christmas approaches we can all jump on this practical application together.

1.) Acknowledge that I’m not defined by someone’s unforgiveness of me.  And neither are they by my unforgiveness of them.

2.) Jealousy is a trap bent toward the temporary. I’m willfully sacrificing an eternal relationship for a temporary desire if I feed jealousy.  And I’m willfully leading my brother/sister to stumble if I recognize a jealousy and feed it from my end.

3.) Mercy is available to us, and so becomes a power we can show once we’ve tasted it ourselves.  Differing beliefs and behaviors is a great way for someone to taste mercy through love, if I can stop making it all about me and how I feel about it.

God Bless your families this holiday season.  May they actually see the dream come true and laugh, love and enjoy each other this year!

Because if we really are remembering the reason for the season… then we will remember that we don’t deserve God’s love and forgiveness but He gives it freely.  And in true Christ-like-ness, we should it extend it to those who don’t deserve it either.


3 Responses to “When people don’t get along…and it’s Holiday time.”

  1. hisworkofheart November 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Wow! I LOVE what you wrote about jealousy… I have always known it was wrong to be jealous (and I have committed that sin) but had never thought about how you should be sensitive to others who are jealous of you. Not in the depth you spelled it out. What good food for thought.

    • Kayla Gulick November 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      Thank you hisworkofheart!
      I wish I didn’t have 11 year experience with this stuff… but I do. Praise God He is dealing with me and refused to let me carry on for another 11 years in the same fashion.
      Have a very Merry Christmas!!

      • hisworkofheart November 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

        I am right there with you…. and have to confess that I have been insenstive when I knew others were jealous of me as wel as committing the sin of being jealous as well… “Jealousy is cruel as the grave” Song of Solomen 8:6… and it cuts both ways.

        God is showing me new areas of sin, as well.

        Blessings and Merry Christmas to you, too!

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