Conflict in relationships is an inevitable outcome. What we do with such harrowing circumstances is entirely under our control, though we might feel anything but in control.
We’re hoodwinked to think we’re limited to their reaction.
But the truth stands: we’ll always have to be prepared to deal with others who have wronged us; who won’t be sorry or provide restitution for their wrongs — despite us owning any errors that hurt them.
This is perhaps the biggest relational problem that holds us back in our journey with others, ourselves, and God.
Just how do we satisfactorily leave such irreparable messes?
Knowing We Have to Move On
Well, knowing we have to move on (for our own good) helps. It serves us no good to continually wrangle with the problems of relational dissonance.
We are blessed to go with the flow of life — that’s ever forward. Some things we leave behind, and we leave there as a loss, but it’s loss with gain, for wisdom has it to move while we can and settle for what’s reasonable, overall, in the circumstances.
This loss is for the short term at best; painful as it may seem, the medium term holds a better hope given the fact that we’ve forgiven someone who probably didn’t deserve it. We’ve afforded a second chance for them and us.
Controlling What We Can Control
It’s a great gift in life to know what we can control from what we can’t. To actually accept it is one better. Therein lays two chief components of wisdom — the theory (why) and the practical (the skill of effective virtuous living).
For every peer group we’ll belong to there’ll always be unrepentant people who have nothing to apologise for, let alone make reparation for. As we think back we’ve had opportunities to learn this from a very young age. But, we characteristically took these lessons in resentment. We were annoyed and frustrated by the people who wouldn’t accept responsibility for their own actions.
Now we have a choice to change.
No longer do we have to be impacted by other people’s choices of irresponsibility — to flout the sense to account-at-truth for one’s actions. It takes a mature person to be accountable for their actions whilst accepting that some others won’t be held accountable. The mature one accepts the presence of the immature one, unconditionally.
But, really, who of us can really claim to be that mature? We characteristically prefer to take offence, but at the same time we ensnare ourselves.
The challenge remains for us to be meek in conflict; easy upon forgetting. Sure, we might come across as the proverbial doormat, but with such wisdom in tow we’ll eventually be vindicated by the Lord.
God fights these battles much better than we ever could.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.