SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2011 "You must get along with each other." 1Co 1:10 TM Getting along with each other requires more than compliance, it calls for cooperation. So: (1) Validate the other person's feelings! Never try to talk someone out of how they "feel." Listen without being defensive, and nod that you understand, even when you don't agree. Feelings aren't always true or logical, but until they're validated you won't get anywhere. David said, "When my...feelings were hurt, I was...stupid" (Ps 73:21-22 GNT). We all act badly when we're hurt. But Solomon says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Pr 19:11 NIV). When you are willing to empathize with someone's feelings it says, "I care about our relationship more than our differences; you matter to me." Sure, it's a sacrifice to patiently absorb somebody's anger, especially when it's unfounded. But remember, that's what Jesus does for you! (2) Confess your part. Jesus said, "First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye" (Mt 7:5 NLT). Since we all have blind spots, get a friend to help you evaluate your attitudes and actions before meeting with the other person. Ask God, "Am I part of the problem? Am I unrealistic, insensitive, or too sensitive?" Confession is a powerful tool! When you can admit your own flaws, it defuses the other person's anger because they're expecting you to be defensive. Don't make excuses or shift blame, just acknowledge your part. You say, "That's hard to do." Sure, but God "has given us this ministry of restoring relationships" (2Co 5:18 GWT).
Published on Saturday, April 2, 2011 @ 6:17 AM CDT