fray: a disorderly or protracted fight, struggle or dispute.
protracted: to prolong or to extend forward and outward.
sometimes a seemingly simple misunderstanding grows into a long, drawn out, disorderly dispute. it takes on a life of it’s own; operating wholly without your participation or cooperation. it grows and festers unbeknownst to you. it makes no sense, it breaks trust, it severs relationship, and leaves…confusion. silence. division. and in it you must have faith that God is working His own mystery, that our inability to see is balanced by His perfect will. that He knows and sees what is best for us even when we don’t. that in His perfect wisdom, He prepares the challenges we face for such a time as this. when it will do it’s best work; have it’s full effect. you believe this. or you would grow weary.
and in the meantime we must choose how we respond. how we react to the fray. to the chaos, the confusion, the disorder around us. that tries to come for us.
and so you release it. because we were never created to know or understand all things. my precious grandmother used to say ‘you can’t make sense out of nonsense.’ no, we can’t. no matter how long we try. we are called to live in peace so long as it depends on us. and, unfortunately, sometimes as far as it depends on us doesn’t go far enough on its own.
and the division? the confusion and disorder? you let it go. you must. because in the end, it doesn’t matter one single bit. it doesn’t change life in any meaningful way. and yet. there is emotion. there is sadness. senselessness. untruth. but the release brings new understanding. freedom. there is peace inside the whirlwind.
and we know that every action we take toward another individual leads to an equal and opposite reaction by them. which feeds the disorder. and so we strive to live above the fray.
if it kills me, i will fight to live above the fray.
who is wise and understanding among you? let him show it by his good life. by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. but if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. james 3:13-16.
people will nudge us, bait us, deliberately attempt to get under our skin. they will speak untruths, they will gossip, they will come for your peace. don’t bite the bait.
disorder. chaos. confusion. division. it breeds in envy, jealousy, and selfish ambition. in her study on james, beth moore cautions us to “tend to our hearts where thorns of the flesh embed themselves deeper and deeper until they infect our character.” as difficult as it is, this choosing of grace, refuse to live an infected life. refuse to let the darkness overshadow the light. refuse to let the fray unravel our character, our truth, our integrity.
do you struggle with jealousy or envy? have you been on the other side of someone who does? the truth is, we all have…or we’re not getting out very much.
stop feeding the monster. live passionately, whole-heartedly, compassionately, unabashedly. above the fray. it was never about you anyway.