I am normally not the most practical guy. My belief is that if we have a true understanding of the nature of a thing we can extrapolate its capabilities and proper use from that solid starting point. In other words I like things theoretical, rhetorical, theological, and philosophical but when it comes to practical I get a little lost. That’s me I’ve come to accept that about myself and even sometimes ENJOY that about myself. However I do want to address something extremely practical in my blog today. That is conflict resolution.
Now I don’t mean on the global scale or anything huge like that I want to bring it down to the one on one level. The saddest most neglected level of conflict resolution that exists. You know it is true! How many people are you mad at that you have never said word one to them about it? You’ve probably talked to lots of OTHER people about it but not the actual person you are incensed with!
I hear it ALL the time. “Did you see what so and so did? Oh my god that infuriated me!” or “It really offends me that I never get asked to do ( insert favorite church activity here)” or “I get the feeling that he/she really just doesn’t like me”. You know what I NEVER hear, “I think they might be mad at me so I really need to talk to them.” or “Hey I just wanted you to know that when you did such and such it hurt my feelings, can you help me understand what was going on there?” or “I would really like to have a chance to (insert favorite church activity here) sometime. How do I go about doing that?” You know WHY I never hear that, because we have no idea how to deal with each other. We would rather blab around our offenses to the world than confront an issue head on. We would rather gossip, back bite, and slander than really learn to love each other.
About now you are saying, “where is all the practicality I was promised?”, of course you would never had said it to me personally but I digress, I will now enter in to the practical portion of this conversation.
Talk to each other! The Biblical model is laid out by Jesus in Matthew chapter 5. If you have an offense with your brother STOP what you are doing and resolve it person to person immediately. If it cannot be taken care of at that level then involve leadership (this part isn’t in Matthew 5 it is later in the NT.) Jesus counts this process as IMPARITIVE to living life in the Kingdom. He goes so far as to say that if we do not do so he will not accept our worship or prayer! Wondering why your prayers don’t get answered? Hmmmmm. Food for thought!
So next time you get tweaked by someone think about this. Don’t you DARE open your big mouth to anyone but the tweaker or there may be real consequences in your relationship with God!