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Spinning Blades Coming Closer!!!
     Ever get into a disagreement with someone that turns uglier and uglier even though you’re giving it your best effort to resolve your differences? It feels like your clothes are caught in a shredder and you’re being pulled into its sharp, chomping blades.

Motor and Opportunity
     The motor of a shredder has one motive – turn the shredding blades. This is good news when the right material is put into the shredder. But, interpersonal conflict is one shredder we don’t want to get our flesh or hearts caught up in. One way to avoid getting shredded is to stand clear of it and make sure you don’t get your lose clothing near the opening. Don’t give the shredder opportunity to do any more than shred what’s supposed to be shredded, got it? Easier said than done…

     Crisis and conflict reveal our loose clothing. Financial pressure can be like a necktie dangling over the blades. Unresolved past issues with this person can be like untied shoelaces locked in the shredder. Pride over admitting your faults or even avoiding the words “I was… wrong…” can get you sucked into the shredder despite the stiff arms you’ve extended to protect yourself.

     The good news about a good shredder is there are at least two buttons. One forward and one reverse. Giving in to offense and moving forward in quarrel is pressing the shred button.

     How do you get out once you’re in? First, you’ve got to unclog the motor. Second, you’ve got to get your clothing out of the blades. “Repent” is the reverse button. Press it generously and quickly to free yourself from the blades.

“Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Rev 2:16”

What’s Her Problem?!
     Two weeks ago, I was meeting with a man I meet with regularly and his wife texted him about something he’d done or said carelessly. His eyebrows furrowed and I could see frustration wash over his face. She had confronted him about his poor choice. He looked at me and asked “what the heck do I say in return to that?!”

     “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” I told him. Her problem was that he had done something he shouldn’t. Now, he could easily have pridefully justified what he did and dragged forward his excuses. But, that would have just tangled more of his clothing in the blades. The way out, in this case, was not through. It was to be through by repenting. Continuing in sin is fighting against God, who you don’t want to fight against. (See Rev. 2:16 above.)

     There’s something about true repentance that can stop the shredder from spinning. Though it won’t fix the torn clothes or flayed flesh, it can at least keep us from making the damage worse and giving us space and time to heal. Repent. Admit your wrong doing and turn from it. Agree with God that you’ve done the wrong thing and trust Him with the outcome.

in Christ,
AP