Today’s Truth

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

Friend to Friend

Two boys on the school playground were discussing a boy in their class. One of them remarked, “He’s no good at sports.” The other quickly responded, “Yes, but he always plays fair.” The critical one added, “He isn’t very smart.” His friend answered, “That may be true, but he studies hard.” The boy with the mean tongue was getting frustrated. “Well,” he sneered, “did you ever notice how ragged his clothes are?” The other boy kindly replied, “Yes, but did you ever notice they’re always clean!” The first boy threw his hands up in total frustration and walked away shouting, “It is impossible to talk to you!” Adopt the “Yes, but” philosophy and you will quickly find that the enemies of peace will avoid you like the plague.

We are called to wage peace in a world filled with conflict. The world has its own system for working out conflict. It’s called retaliation. God has a different plan for working out conflict. It’s called restoration. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NIV), Paul instructs us to “live in peace with each other.” We are to “clothe ourselves” with certain characteristics as preparation for peace to rule. The characteristics we bring to relationships determine the level of peace in those relationships. That means deliberately planning for peace.

Peace makes the decision to resolve conflict before conflict comes.

God calls us to unity, to be members of one body committed to peace. While the peace of God may be beyond our control and above our understanding, it can become a reality in our lives when we choose to reject every enemy of peace.

For several years, I taught third grade in the public school system. Every student I taught knew that one of my pet peeves was tattling. In fact, I made a long tail out of construction paper on which I wrote “Tattle-Tail.” I then pinned the tail to the bulletin board behind my desk. I then explained that anyone who repeatedly tattled on another student would have to wear the tail. Every time a child came to me with a negative comment or complaint about another student, I simply pointed to the hanging “tail” and asked, “Are you sure you want to say those words?” The reminder always stopped them cold. They did not want to wear that tail. In fact, no student ever did wear that tail.

So when the gossips call, refuse to entertain their caustic words.

When conflict arises, deal with it swiftly, refusing to leave the table until that conflict is resolved.

Make integrity the benchmark of your life.

Do not allow any conversation, meeting or gathering to become a “bash those who are not present” session.

Avidly guard your tongue and carefully measure your words.

Peace is at stake.

The prayer of the psalmist should be our prayer as well, “May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NIV)

We can be at peace when we understand what true peace is, when we are willing to let peace rule and are committed to being right with each other and with God who is Jehovah Shalom, “I am your peace.”

Let’s Pray

Father, I am so sorry for the critical words I have spoken and entertained. Forgive me for allowing conflict to remain unresolved. I want to be a woman who wages peace and pursues integrity. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart please You, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Grab your journal. Read the commitment written below. If you are ready to make that commitment, write it in your journal.

I praise God for the gift of friendship. Today I commit to investing more time in deepening the friendships God has given me. I want others to see the very nature of God in the way I relate to my friends. I will wage peace in my relationships. Today, I choose to honor God in every friendship and trust Him with each one.


Name __________________________________________ Date ______________

More from the Girlfriends

Learning to wage peace in your relationships is a powerful spiritual tool. Mary’s book, Sandpaper People, will help you learn to develop meaningful relationships.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

7 Responses to “The “Yes, but” Philosophy”

  1. Janie says:

    I understand the point you’re trying to make but my daughter had one of you “no tattle tale” teachers. After her coming home multiple times saying someone was being mean to her I had a talk with the teacher and she explained her philosophy to me. She was in fact just being lazy. And because that was her rule none of the children felt comfortable coming to her. My daughter only ended up with a chipped tooth from the bully but another child ended up being touched in the bathroom. See little kids don’t know the difference between telling about something serious and just complaining. So the little bully got away with it until the child finally told her parents. The teacher lost her job as she should have. You’re there to protect the children not make your day less stressful. It’s one thing for adults not to complain but it’s quite another to teach children they have no one to confide in. What if one of those children wanted to tell you their father was hitting them? Children do not know the difference in Johnny took my pencil and my dad hits me they see it all as tattle telling. So by the no complaint policy I wonder how many children were coming to you for help and didn’t want to wear the tail?

    • Thank you for your comment. Let me add some additional thoughts. In a devotion we only have a limited amount of words. I always explained what I meant by tattling. Tattling is something far different than sharing a deliberate hurt or pain and my students knew that. I gave many examples of what tattling was … and what it wasn’t. I did not have this policy to make my day less stressful. And I was certainly not lazy! I came at least an hour … many times two hours before class began and always stayed late. At one school in a tough part of town, I brought breakfast for some students who came to school hungry. I often brought clothes for them as well. I am not sharing this to brag on myself … many people helped my provide those things. Most teachers I know work very hard in the classroom and try to be there for their students in every way possible. I often had to report incidences of child abuse when a child shared something with me. You see, I loved my students and they loved me. When love covers a classroom, it makes a huge difference. The tattle tail taught students exactly what you are saying … the difference between sharing a real hurt and learning to work out a conflict on their own. I am so sorry for the pain your daughter went through. God bless you as you keep honoring God as her mom.

  2. Karen Robertson says:

    I so enjoy reading these devotionals!!!!! Thank you!!!

  3. Sylvia Bennett says:

    I am going to strive to make this my new philosophy

  4. Joy says:

    This devotional was right on time! I had “a situation” just yesterday with an in -law. Thank God, I believe I passed the test!?

  5. Tori says:

    I am really thankful for this specific devotional. I have been struggling with critical thoughts of myself and others lately. I want to be positive, kind, patient, and look for the good and find it. This devotional was timely and I appreciate it. God bless you!

  6. Bev Ebersole says:

    Thank you. I work with women at my job. I need to live by this devotional on a daily bases.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8