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Getting Over a Fight

Getting Over a Fight

Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst. Leviticus 15:31

Though my wife and I now have a far healthier relationship than we did 10 years ago, we still have our squabbles. When we do find ourselves at odds with each other, our relationship gets stuck there until we reconcile. If we desire a healthy marriage, we need to clear the air, get over the disagreement, and move on. While we refuse to do this, we remain caught in conflict, growing further apart. Getting over the fight often means that we both must humble ourselves, apologizing for something. This isn’t always easy. Our pride demands that we be recognized as right, even if we’ve been hurtful. For the health of our marriage though, when in conflict, we must do what it takes to resolve that conflict, or we get stuck there, in opposition to each other, which makes for a miserable marriage.

This isn’t completely different from my relationship with God. In my addiction, I pursued my self-destructive appetite, turning myself from God. Recovery then, has meant daily pointing my life at God, trying to follow him instead of myself. Daily though, there are a thousand opportunities to turn from God, back to me. Pride, anger, lust, selfishness, greed, envy, and resentment, all turn me from God. While I indulge in these things, my relationship with him suffers. If I desire to continue to grow in my faith and recovery then, I must daily clear the air between God and me. Daily, I must abandon those things that turn me from him. While I’m indulging in my resentments, I can’t look at or listen to God, and so, I must daily forgive, choosing to let go of resentment, for my own spiritual health.

Today’s passage illustrates this. It’s a bizarre passage, graphically describing men’s discharges, women’s menstruation, and sex. In it, several things are described as ceremonial unclean. The rules may seem bizarre to us, but God was teaching his people to daily examine their lives, identifying anything that came between them and worship. They weren’t to go to the tabernacle drunk and the tabernacle was not to become a sexual experience (both were apparently common in surrounding cultures). God desired that his people seek him with no distractions.

Daily, if we desire to grow in our faith and recovery, we must examine our lives, asking what is keeping us from the lives God desires for us. When we identify those things, we must abandon them. While we cling to them, we remain stuck, incapable of spiritual growth. Just like my relationship with my wife, if we desire a healthy relationship with God, we must continually abandon anything that comes between us.

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