Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Broken Relationships

I was pondering the problem of broken or strained relationships recently, and how, though Christian blogs are tremendously encouraging on personal development, inner spiritual life, and so one, I haven’t come across much help on what to do about Relationships.  And I’m not talking dating, either. No, just the difficulties with family, friends, colleagues, the neighbours… don’t tell me you don’t have problems, because we all do. I know it’s not just me.  And I think there are several reasons for that.
One is that if we live authentically, showing the ‘real me’ rather than the ‘polite’ one, then sooner or later someone is going to object to some aspect of that ‘real me’ – and possibly, even the ‘polite’ me too: there is no pleasing all of the people all of the time. Then the problems start.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to fix those. Because I can do all the ‘right’ things: like ignoring the problem and waiting for the difficulties to blow over. That works sometimes, others it doesn’t. Or I can try to gently confront the issue – wow, do some folks get upset!  For all kinds of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with me.  Or can I eat humble pie – and that can either solve the problem beautifully or lay the foundation for a road full of trouble.  It’s really difficult, because, in relationships, there is no ‘whoops, that approach didn’t work, let’s try another one’. At least,  of course you have to do that, but you also have to fix the problem that was created by the ‘wrong’ approach, and then the new approach might not work either, and then…. well, the potential for trouble is exponential.
So I realised that, ultimately, it’s all down to me and my attitude. I need to know who I am in Christ, beloved, secure. Trust  in Christ’s ability to bring healing into the situation. And let the other be whoever they are. I can’t demand a particular response. I can only do what I believe to be best, but I am not responsible for their attitudes or behaviour.
Hmmm. I might need to put that up in LARGE letters on my fridge.

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