CONFLICTS bring us to place where our minds run into overdrive.
Some of us a feeling persons and others of us are thinkers. But feeling persons also do a lot of thinking when conflict’s afoot. And thinkers feel!
Conflict consumes much thought and feeling; probably too much.
Those of us given to analytical thinking begin to get consumed about what may be said. We always think about what might have been said rather than what might not have been said. So much so that we begin to make unconscious assumptions that build on our conscious assumptions, and sooner or later we start to make decisions about people on information we’ve made up. What a mess.
How do I know this… well that would have to be obvious; I’ve made so many dangerous assumptions that have led to fearful seeds that have grown. Then bitterness has taken root. And resentment became my fruit.
Don’t assume what you do not know,
Don’t allow fearful seeds to grow,
Or bitterness will take root,
And resentment will be your fruit.
Instead, check all your facts,
Then you’ll find you’ll relax,
You’ll defeat the enemy within,
You’ll overcome temptation to sin.
More and more, as I’ve counselled people through the very mistakes I’ve come to learn that I’ve made, I’ve learned the importance of stripping assumption from information.
Only as we strip bare the information we’re forming in our minds do we check what we’re actually thinking. Much of what we think about we’re not even conscious of. But we can easily fester and rankle into a sick thought cycle that never takes us anywhere but toward bitterness and ultimately resentment.
We could otherwise opt for truth, but that means we’ll need to become deeply accountable. We’ll set up processes to keep ourselves humble. We’ll inevitably be open to what trusted impartial others will say. And we’ll begin to stop being so certain of the purity of our own motives. That day is a day when the Lord comes close.
The more honest we are with ourselves in God’s sight the less garbage we’ll allow ourselves to believe about others.
Being accountable about what we think means we protect what we believe and we’re more prudent in what we say.
We’d be astounded if we knew how relatively rarely people actually talk about us. And those who do talk about us arbitrarily are people we should wish to have less to do with.
The more we mind our own business, the more chance God has in helping us master our own business.
The way to contentment is to deal with resentment.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.