Shat  terd



The hidden half of domestic violence

How to have eternal life

An Olive Branch...or.......???


Anytime two or more humans coexist for any period of time, there will
be conflict. We even have the phrase..."the honeymoon is over" to
indicate the first conflict newlyweds have. It is inevitable.

I have been watching reruns of Andy Griffin. Mayberry RFD. In one
show, there was a couple that was always fighting. Andy got them to
stop and got them to even be nice to one another. They stopped
insulting each other, throwing things at each other, and started to
say sweet things to each other..but they were so miserable it was
taking its toll on everyone around each of them. Andy soon realized
that this was the way they were both happy. In today's society, Andy
would have had to arrest the man and then a woman's shelter would
have encouraged if not demanded the woman get a divorce. Andy
however got them to get back to their old ways and each lived happily
ever after. Each did respect the other in their own odd way. Oh
sure they insulted each other, but they would defend the other if
someone ELSE insulted them. The problem was intensified when there
was outside interference. (The real solution would have been to help
them see the need to have a right relationship with God)

This conflict could be internal. We have a battle within ourselves
but for this message, we will be focus on the conflict we have with
others..conflict that has escalated to almost out right war and
certainly to the breaking of fellowship with each other.

James tells us where these conflicts come from:

James 4
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not
hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot
obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may
consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship
of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend
of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that
dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

Often we may even blame God for these problems and say HE has tempted
us but James also address this too..and he goes further to tell us
the end result of these conflicts:

James 1:

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God
cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust,
and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin,
when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Conflict, we all have them. Conflict in and of itself is not sin.
What we do and how we handle that conflict can become sin. Paul tells
us in Romans chapter 14 that there are areas we as Christians can
disagree on. Neither of us are wrong but when we have to try to prove
our point regardless of the outcome, that becomes..sin.

We now see where conflict comes from, but what about the title of
this message...An Olive Branch...or.......??? OR what?

When there has been a long standing conflict and one side tries to
resolve that conflict, we often say an olive branch was extended.
The olive branch has long been used as a symbol of peace. It goes
back to the flood when the bird Noah released came back with a branch
in it's was an olive branch. Sometimes this "offer of
peace" is not what it appears to be. The olive branch turns out to
be ...poison ivy!

You see, in the context of this ministry, (Shattered Men) we often
deal with those who need to be in control, they need to feel they
have won at any cost. Often when one has left an abuser, the abuser
will offer this "olive branch" but upon close inspection, that branch
is indeed the poison ivy. What do I mean by this?

An abuser needs to have the upper hand. If he or she thinks that
things are too quite or that their "victim" has resolved their issues
of abuse and have become a survivor and not remained a victim, they
will come back into that persons life and will offer this so called
olive branch. Very often it is only to yank the scabs off the wound
and restart the cycle all over again.

There are times it is not possible to reconcile. It is not possible
to stop the conflict.

Romans 12
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the
sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place
unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith
the Lord.

Notice Paul said "if it be possible" He also gave the answer to this
above too...not to become angry and strike back but to allow God
to "pay them back"

Now...all of this being said..there are times in which a real olive
branch is offered and if it is, we should readily accept it and
reconcile. How will we know the difference? By inspecting the
fruit. If we see genuine repentance there is more concerned for how
they hurt you then concern that you have hurt them....chances are it
is a real olive branch. If there is personal accountability and a
personal acceptance of responsibility, it may well be a real olive
branch. If you see none of these things, watch out...and get the
calamine lotion. It is typical of many abusers to want to reopen old

If you have been the one who offered an olive branch by doing the
thing above and it is not accepted...let it go.

For more on conflict read:

Conflict and Confrontation

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