If we were having coffee I would love to get us two iced Americanos (or whatever your choice), to go, and then take a peaceful stroll down by the river. We would talk about our families, the weekend, and the newest book on the bedside table (currently Against the Night, by Charles Colson). After catching up on each others current events, the conversation might turn to finding the source of courage to have difficult conversations.
All of us need them, but most of us avoid them. The conversations necessary to build bridges, instead of running into pitfalls and brick walls in our relationships. Having loving, positive, difficult conversations is a new skill for me. It is something I would rather avoid, but can’t turn my back on any longer. If I value people and relationships sometimes problems and conflicts need to be faced proactively, instead of sweeping differences under the rug and hoping the dissension will dissipate. (Newsflash: it doesn’t.)
For many years I thought I was peacefully overlooking offenses by simply ignoring them. However, I learned recently that my choice was really anything but. To truly overlook an offense means “a deliberate decision not to talk about it, dwell on it, or let it grow into pent up bitterness or anger.” (Peacemaking Principles)
Ignoring and avoiding relational problems does not diffuse the anger, prevent resentment, or help us to let the situation go and not dwell on it any longer. Even if we choose not to talk about the person or situation, the root of strife is still buried deeply in our hearts and can produce bitter fruit later down to road. It does not give us or the others involve and opportunity seek understanding, make peace, restore relationship, or grow in maturity and love.
Living with false peace seems easier, but this is only because it is my comfort zone. I would rather allow relationships wither than than do the hard work of peacemaking. But I know this is not right for me or for others in my life.
Those of you with experience how do you do it? What is your best advise to those of us just learning?
#7 Day Daily Post Challenge: Day 4