Resolving relationship issues is tough work. It’s so tough in fact, that most people don’t even bother resolving issues they have with other people. They either sweep them under the rug, or cut the relationship off completely. But this is contrary to Jesus and His way of living. When we hold grudges and let problems get in the way of our relationships with people, we are letting brokenness reign instead of Jesus and his restorative nature.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a strong local community these past 7 years where I’ve had to resolve issues I’ve had with people, or people have had to resolve issues they’ve had with me. These conversations have not been always easy, but they have always been necessary. Why? Because we knew that for us to really live in relationships together we had to be honest and willing to ‘go there’ even when it was difficult.
Because of that, the relationships formed are of the strongest bond. When you confront someone with the love and humility of Jesus, you open yourself and the other person involved to healing and restoration. Is it easy? Of course not, it’s often awkward, and painful. BUT, as the conversation progresses you see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Why am I blogging about this? Because we don’t know how to confront people and resolve problems between each other in our culture. No, we’d much rather run to twitter and rant, we’d much rather call our other friend about the problem and spread gossip like wildfire, we’d much rather tear the other person down to make ourselves look better. When we don’t confront, when we don’t know how to humbly approach each other we lose out on deeper relationships.
I’ve been on both sides of the confrontation. I’ve been the person who has initiated and brought the conversation up, told the person how I felt when he/she said this, or did that, and then heard their side and worked to common ground. I’ve also been the person who has been told that what I did or said was not ok and he/she was deeply hurt. At that point, I had no choice but to eat a big helping of humble pie, ask for their forgiveness (which they so graciously extended), and then moved on. This is a lost art even in the Christian culture. we’d much rather go to our pastor, we’d much rather talk to someone else about our problem, not the person directly involved.
The Bible talks over and over about this. Jesus tells us that before we even go to Him, if we remember that we have an issue with someone to immediately to that person to resolve our problem. We are told not to let the sun go down on our anger, and Paul tells us to love one another, forgiving one another just as Christ forgave us.
Do not be afraid to talk to someone about the offense they committed against you. Be gracious, be humble and willing to hear them out. Humans do dumb things and that includes you. No one is above reproach. We love to think that we are above being confronted. People will vehemently defend their actions even if they are completely in the wrong. Ultimately, this comes down to a pride issue that is for another post, but to Christians I will say this: Kill that pride and be teachable. If you have an issue you need to resolve with another human being (wife, husband, son, daughter, friend, brother, sister, mom, dad, the guy at the grocery story etc), then go to that person and talk those things out. Don’t give sin a foothold to start spreading, the longer you wait the harder it is to resolve the issue and the easier it is to keep going down that path.
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