People Are Impossible (Reading Romans 12:3-21)

With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Yet the truth remains, some people are simply impossible. I am not sure how to reconcile the two, impossible people to an all possible God, but somehow the two coexist within the known realm of reality.

Paul says, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18)." Last night I was privileged to hear a lecture by Dale Huff on church conflict. Dale Huff is the director of the office of Leader Care and Church Administration for the Alabama State Board of Missions. His title is short for "lion tamer." Dale Huff spends more than half of his time traveling around the state of Alabama as a mediator for church conflict. I cannot imagine having this man's job. I can list at least 99 things I had rather do than walk in Dale Huff's shoes. Here are only five of my least favorite things that rank right above Brian Branam doing Dale Huff's job. I would rather:
1) lick a razor blade
2) be bitten by a dog with the mange
3) eat grits for breakfast thirty days in a row
4) sleep with a running chain saw
5) eat grits with a razor blade in the bed with a mangy dog holding a chainsaw;
than to have Dale Huff's job. I believe the man has a much needed and miraculous gift of God to see and hear the worst of the church day in and day out and keep any sort of spiritual equilibrium. Yet, it is his involvement in this arena and his servant's heart to enter it that made his lecture so enthralling. I do not envy the man's job, but I am certainly thankful and envious of the quality of man.

In the opening statements of his lecture Dr. Huff pointed to Romans 12:18 and Paul's qualification "if possible." Dr. Huff rightly pointed out, some situations are simply impossible. Some people simply will not allow resolution. Dr. Huff went on to say that Paul then shifts the burden to "you." "As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all people." Some people will not allow resolution, yet that should not keep "you" from doing the right thing. Even when doing the right thing some people simply will not respond well. Dr. Huff said on this matter, "No matter how people respond to you, you must realize the only control you have is you."

In any situation the most dangerous thing of which one can lose control is to lose control of self. Maybe Paul too worked in the lion's mouth better known as the Office of Leader Care for the Alabama State Board of Missions. In any case I think Paul and Dr. Huff are spot on. The heart of the teaching is there is no hope for any situation to change without the self being fully involved, fully controlled, and fully in tune with the grace of God. You cannot control other people. People are impossible. "So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18b)."


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