Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wisdom: Six Questions for Any Relationship (Part 1)

Sometimes when you look at your life in light of a passage of Scripture, you find that it speaks to your life and circumstances remarkably well. You find sometimes – often to your own consternation – that the wisdom of the Bible hits a little close to home.

For those of us who stood in the church and said our I-Dos, we started out on a tremendously high note. But if you are anything like Dawn and me, it doesn't take long to discover that a wedding is not a marriage. Nobody tells you that your life-long partner sometimes will drive you crazy.  And to be honest there are times when I drive her crazy.

When we think about the people who make us crazy, they are often people who are very close to us. Sometimes we fall in love with a crazymaker. However, sometimes it's just a difficult person.  An in-law (or an out-law?). A child or a parent. Or your very best friend. A co-worker in the next office or cubicle. Another church member, for even people in church sometimes don't get along the way they should. (And if you are saying to yourself that I don’t have anyone who makes me crazy…then guess what, you might just be the difficult person.)

So, the question isn't, Do these people exist? The question is, How are we going to relate to them?

James offers wisdom that comes from above - what he calls Godly wisdom (versus earthly wisdom) - that promises to bring order in our lives and relationships if we will embrace them. It's not the magic bullet that solves everything, but it can work to minimize the dis-order that often results.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That’s the most important thing about it. And that’s not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn’t pretend to be what it is not. (James 3:17)

Out of this verse come six questions you should ask when dealing with the people that make you crazy. They all point us back to ourselves. Why? Because the truth is you can control and change only yourself. Over the next few weeks, I will unpack these six questions that are necessary for the health and well-functioning of any relationship in your life.

  1. Am I looking at what my part may be?
  2. Am I aiming at reconciliation?
  3. Am I thoughtful of where the other is coming from?
  4. Am I being open to reason?
  5. Am I being merciful?
  6. Am I giving love?
I look forward to sharing more as the weeks unfold.