“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.” ― Alison Croggon
This quote has hung around with me these last few days. It is far easier to take on when it is myself who is mistaken and others face the consequences than when it is the other way around and I must face consequences.
I am currently dealing with a situation where someone has made a decision from limited knowledge that has what I consider to be ‘bad consequences’ – it has really stung and is impacting my views on those reponsible. All the theory of how I should be responding is in my mind but the pain and hurt is overwhelming. It would be easy to kick and scream, shout and look for support but the harder route is to remain silent, allow time to take its course and allow people to learn. The results will be better, the learning greater and the long term consequences fruitful. Meanwhile, the pain is hard to take……but it will be worth it and in time – all will be well.
In the meantime…..it is time to work through the pain.
I am writing this on the fly and so the complete and correct quote eludes me but we have probably heard it in one form or another. “Why is the church the only army that wounds it’s own soldiers?” You probably read it and there is something that resonates.
In the last week or two, social media has been awash with Christians attacking one another in the public domain. It is not just in social media – our gatherings, our workplaces and our homes. Our witness to Christ and the gospel can be so easily tainted.
It’s nothing new though – religious leaders were not entirely welcoming to Jesus, Paul fell out with a few folk too….Christian history is full of it, that’s one reason for the Reformation.
However, not a our falling out is positive, the vast majority of the ‘wounding’ is damaging, painful and dishonouring to the one whose name we bear. The good news is that God can reclaim the ground eaten by the locust, that’s my prayer – God, reclaim the ground! Meanwhile, I challenge my own heart to see what I need to correct, my log is greater 😉
I should not be surprised at what I see but I long for the day when we dwell together in unity and recognise that it is there that The Lord commands the blessing.
No-one who has contact with other members of the human race will ever be immune from some of the hurts and pains of disappointment and upset that will occur. It is a fact of life. How we deal with these moments determine how those relationships will continue into the future – will they thrive or survive?
1) Do not respond immediately – immediate responses are rarely helpful
2) Consider the need for a response – there may be no need to respond but if you do be careful not to further stir the fire of discord
3) Be courteous and gracious – you cannot determine the path others take, you can determine your own steps
4)What can you learn? – is this an opportunity to learn something new?, to discover new ways of working?
5) Do not bear grudges – this helps nobody
These are just a few things that I have tried to action, wish that I was more successful.