Thursday, October 11, 2012

Houston - Spring, Texas; October 10, 2012

"Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated." Acts 15:37-39

I've been on both ends of this situation.

I've done something, out of my own hurt, that caused someone to say, "We're not compatible as friends," and they moved on.

Even though, I wasn't given any more than two texts to explain myself.

I tried to apologize four and a half months later - after seeing them at a race on Thanksgiving Day -- after they asked me not to contact them anymore (and not thinking about the implications of that) and they claimed that they filed a stalking and harassment claim against me with the County Sheriff's Office.

At the same time, there have been things that I haven't agreed with, but I've not separated myself from my friends.

However, I've removed myself from various situations so that I wouldn't be a stumbling block.

Tony Dungy, in today's entry, "Free to Disagree", of his "Uncommon Life: Daily Challenge" book asked, "When you disagree with a coworker or friend or spouse or pastor, how do you handle it? With grace and understanding or with anger and bitterness? Do you force that person to accept your way? .... And your witness may be impacted too; others may see you or Jesus in a different light if you can't handle conflict."

In the first situation, I realize that my witness with that individual is likely damaged forever regardless of who is right or wrong. (In that situation, a friend of that individual gossiped things to me which caused me a certain amount of hurt.) I have to hope and pray that the other Christians in that person's life will one day to be able to be sure that they've accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

In the latter situation, that happened as late as earlier on the evening of October 10.

It was a situation that I was having an issue with, but I didn't want to be a distraction to a cause that is going to do, I believe, a great thing in the lives of others.

And the situation is eternally insignificant, but I'm still working through being friends with people who are friends with someone who caused so much pain in my life the last year and a half.

I'm getting better at it, but if there's a possibility that I wouldn't handle a situation in which I might not be able to control my emotions - or, in this specific case, if I was phony around somebody that I had an issue with, then I would be completely in the wrong.

So am I handling conflict in my life well enough?

I don't know. I guess only time will really tell, but I have to have my emotions under control with Waverly being in her last year at home before going off to college.

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