Caught in the Middle
When getting onto a busy elevator, you can literally risk your life! With so many hands pushing buttons and people attempting to fit their entire family plus multiple luggage pieces into a 4” x 6” box, you might barely make it on board as the doors close while parts of your body get caught in the squeeze. If you have experienced this unpleasant elevator crush, you will totally relate to the feeling of being caught between friends who are upset with one another.
Have you found yourself in the middle of a disagreement between two people you care about?
It is not a fun place to be! Both of them are sharing information you would rather not know, but somehow you realize God has allowed you to be there! It is true that you could tell both parties not to share their grievances with you because you don’t like being in the middle. However, perhaps you are there for a reason? You are a safe person because you care about both and it is in your heart to see this resolved. Not everyone would respond this way. Perhaps God is calling you to be a peacemaker.
“Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God”
Matthew 5:9 KJV
So what do you do when you are in the middle of raging emotions and slinging accusations? For the ministry wife, this can be extremely complex, as so often many women consider you to be their best friend, whether you like it or not. Perhaps you've found it difficult to meet, connect, and cultivate friendships. Then conflict arises. What now? Before we discuss what you should do, let’s talk about what you should not do!
Do not take sides with one or the other.
Do not share what they have told you with the other person.
Do not force a reconciliation.
In situations like this, it is easy to allow our ego to step in and for us to feel empowered as the neutral party seeing the right and wrong of both arguments and wanting to resolve it in our own wisdom and counsel. If you step into the position of the messenger, sharing with the other person what has been said, you may be used by the enemy - causing the resentment to build and allow even more mistrust to grow. Each person must feel that what they have shared with you is confidential. It is not your responsibility to fix them, but rather be a safe place for them to express themselves. Remember, only God can change attitudes, bring healing and renew trust to wounded
So what can you do to help those you care about to reconcile their differences?
“You’re blessed when you can show people
how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are,
and your place in God’s family”
Matthew 5:9 MSG
When two people you care about are sharing their disagreements with you, you can be used by God to assist them in finding some common ground to rebuild a relationship that lasts.
You can listen and show true concern for each one without betraying the other.
You can affirm their individual value to you and to God.
You can pray with them for God to give them peace, direction and reconciliation.
You can give them tools to process their pain according to God’s word (Matt. 18).
“Therefore, encourage and comfort one another
and build one another up.”
1 Thess. 5:11 AMP
The great part is that we don’t have to stay in the squeeze, we can allow God to take that place for us! He already did when He sent His son to die on the cross for everyone’s sins, wounds, attitudes, and even their history! When we release our friends or family to God and surrender our need to be the “fixer upper,” we allow God to do a work in their heart that only He can do!
Our Prayer: Lord Jesus, I love them both and it saddens me to see their broken relationship. I know that this doesn’t honor you. My heart’s desire is to see them each draw closer in relationship to you so they are open to your prompting of their heart to seek a resolution.
Ruth and her husband, John, will celebrate 40 years of marriage on June 25th and have been involved in full-time ministry for 25 years. The couple has three grown children and eight grandchildren! Both of her parents and many spiritual mentors, along with her education and spiritual journey at Northpoint and Northwest colleges have shaped Ruth's ministry focus. Her favorite pastimes include hiking, visiting historical sites, water sports and walking on the beach. "My greatest passion is to inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities to wholeheartedly follow Jesus and find total restoration through knowing Him", Ruth says. To learn more about Ruth's ministry to women, visit www.penndelwomenofpurpose.org or the free app @ PennDelWomen.