“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.
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” Leo Tolstoy
Unlike the song, loving is not easy. In fact it is hard, painful, messy, costly but it is also joyous, wonderful and exhilarating. I never forget being accused of ‘loving too much’ in reference to a team that I was leading. They meant this negatively but thankfully, I received it in a positive light. It was meant in a negative form as they believed that by loving my team, the hard questions would not be asked.
They missed the point – the hard questions were asked BECAUSE I loved the team. It was a necessary part of loving. Love is a two sided coin, hurt and pain on one side, joy and hope on the other. The good news is that love is a special gift and one that can be experienced by all people.
If you lead a team – love them and recognise that love can be costly but it will also be most rewarding.
Sometimes life sucks, not just a few bad moments but times when numerous bad moments come at once….and keep coming and keep coming, and hope that you have clung to for so long gets dashed again and again. In times like that we Christians can quote all the verses from Scripture, we can give all the life experience stories, share lovely platitudes and share from the ‘giants of faith’ but when life is really low, these things don’t always work. Sometimes you just want the person you are talking to to accept that life sucks and be present with you because meaningless hope is not hope at all and crushes you further. Christians can be a barrier to Jesus.
Thankfully, it is not faith in other believers but faith in Christ that matters. He walks with is, He embraces us and He holds us in the tears and whispers gently, “I will give you rest”. That’s the Saviour that I know and that is why I do not walk away from faith in Christ. I trust Him even in the midst of the storms but sometimes that faith is stretched….thankfully He still holds me and says, “be still, for I am with you.”
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.