The Golden Rule
Everyone wants people to like them and to get along well with them. Everyone wants to be esteemed and loved. I don't think anyone wants conflict or enjoys conflict. With this being said it makes me wonder?
How can you ever expect others to be gracious and forgiving to you when you walk around harboring bitterness, resentment and are lacking forgiveness toward others?
If you struggle with another or maybe more than just one other...here is a strategy for you. Most of my life I am quick to forgive and do not hold onto offenses. Through the years the Lord has buffered and refined my ability to walk in grace with others and not get offended. All of this is by God's Grace and design...he made me and wired me, fashioned my thinking and heart. I also have a strategy for grace. Sort of my own personal guidelines for unity with the rest of humanity. Nobody taught me to do this, but I have been doing it as long as I can remember. I will also attribute this to God, for as I said, He made me and if there is any good in me it is because of HIM. Maybe my personal strategy is something worth passing on. Maybe what I do could work for you, too. Let's start this New Year out right and not just sweep your offenses under a rug, burying the hurt down deeper in your heart as though it were a trash compacter. Let us sweep them up and clean them up for good!
Forgiveness can be hard when a hurt runs deep, but it is possible. If I am hurt by another, or tempted to become offended and remain offended, I place myself in the offenders shoes. I try to see the situation from their point of view. Many times people do thoughtless or inconsiderate things and are completely oblivious to the fact that they have offended. This is the easiest for me to spot and so I just grace it over. I let it go. However, other offenses can run deep and cause tremendous heartache and pain. What to do then? I do the same. I place myself in the other persons shoes. I try to see things from their perspective. I try to evaluate or understand the filter (perception) that they are looking through.
Ultimately, it is the filter that is the issue. We all have them. Our perceptions are based on previous experiences, expectations, hurts and ideas. Perception is not always Truth, but perception is one's reality. Given this knowledge, I ponder in my mind, "what is going on in their own life that could be influencing their reactions/behavior? What is going on in their own heart? What internal battles to they face that prevent them from being amiable?" I may not know all the details, but by noticing behavioral patterns and then with the active help of the Holy Spirit (intuition, discernment, revelation) I can narrow the scope of observation and connect my heart to theirs (even if they are completely unaware). You heard me...I connect my heart to theirs. I do so through prayer. It is hard to dislike someone you are actively praying for.
This may not help them at all, but it helps me to guard my own heart from walking in un-forgiveness or spite. Though I am not a mean spirited person by nature, I actively work to allow no room for malice, envy, bitterness or strife to form upon the tablet of my heart. I do so by first finding my compassion for their heart...their hurts...their struggles or insecurities. I'm telling you this works! I say it works, but I also admonish you that it will require a generous act of your will to try. I cannot teach anyone how to walk with others in peace, but I can hope to at least be an example by my own conduct and standards for myself. The essence of integrity is caring enough about your own behavior that it is accountability enough for good decisions.
I recognize that this blog might make others feel uncomfortable or edgy. I am not trying to speak to anyone specific. I am merely observing many, many people get offended and taking up the offense of others quite easily. I am witnessing a tremendous amount of competition that is not healthy, among "family" members, which ought not happen. In fact, this very thing breaks my heart. If my own personal strategy gives another an idea about how to tackle a hurt they have battled, then I have been successful. I desire to see all love and live at peace with each other. There are so many things to be celebrated together that are far more rewarding, enjoyable and joyful than squabbling over idle differences. Everyone is different, that's what makes each of us unique. There is a beautiful but delicate balance to be found between holding with passion and intensity to all that you value (for it is hard to separate passion and intensity...I believe it impossible to have one without the other) and getting along despite differences of passions and pursuits.
Be a Peace Maker. Live at peace with others. Make right your relationships before partaking at the communion table together. You will sleep better and enjoy greater blessing and prosperity in all you endeavor. I believe this with all of my heart.
Blessed Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Greet each new day with a smile on your face and commit to making it the best day of your life...and better yet, the best day of someone else's life. Make your life count. Create a legacy that others can believe in and hold on to with passion and zeal.
Wow, imagine the possibilities.
You can do it, I know you can. You have all that is takes to be magnificent. ~Nicole