Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Wisdom: Am I Aiming at Reconciliation? (Part 3)

I am a big believer that the Bible, for all its other virtues, is a rather practical guide, especially when it comes to relating well with others. We don't always want to embrace the wisdom it provides, but if we are brave enough, we most always find the life Jesus promised to bring. I shared previously that James 3:17 leads us to Six Questions to Ask in Any Relationship.

I also explored more deeply the first of those six questions: Am I looking at what my part may be? Frankly, we are confronted with the reality that we cannot control anyone but ourselves. So, we have to take a good look at ourselves when we want to deal well with the people in our lives who make us crazy. What part am I playing in an unhealthy relationship?

The second question is simply: Am I aiming at reconciliation? James 3 says: “And that’s not all. It (the wisdom from above) also loves peace.” We have to be aiming for peace in the relationship. If we aim at nothing, that’s exactly what we will hit.

One thing I’ve learned is that if you treat people kindly, gently, then you are more apt to get what you want. Don't think of this as manipulative. You are just more likely to enable a response that will lead to a peaceful relationship. When we are ranting, raving - angry and out of control - we become deaf and blind to what we really want in a relationship. We become less able to identify the needs we have, not to mention the needs of the other person.

Like a universal law of thermodynamics, a principle of relationships also exists that is always true: When the anxiety between two people is really high, our thinking brain is really low. So sometimes the trick to being peace-lovers is to manage your own anxiety in a moment when the heat is on. Take a deep breath. Step away from an argument for a moment. Don't speaking thoughtlessly.

William James, the psychologist says, “wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.” The Book of James says, we have to be peaceloving people. Am I aiming for reconciliation?