Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Did they work? The building blocks to building good relationships that I wrote about last issue? I hope you tried them. Let’s review. The building blocks were Love, encouragement, and respect. If you missed them, you can go to our website to read them again. They work. Honestly. But, here are two more that I promise will also enhance your relationships.
The Bible shows that defensiveness and blaming others for things that go wrong will rip a good relationship. It is the refusal to fairly evaluate our own contribution to conflict. It is the offended, “It is not my fault! It’s your fault! Besides, you did this last week, and that two years ago.”
Again, Paul was right on top of this principle of building relationships. In the context of the Lord’s Supper, he wrote, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28). Finger pointing and fault finding only magnify problems.
Accepting responsibility does not mean that you must take all the blame when disagreements erupt. It does mean to sit down with an open attitude, and honestly examine the issues. When we see our mistakes, then we accept personal responsibility for, and work to change those things that damage relationships. (Sometimes it is hard to be humble isn’t it?)
When conflict escalates to a certain level, people stop talking to each other. They quit church, move out of the house, become silently sullen, or hide in their office – they avoid each other. Have you noticed this tendency?
Bible teaching about building relationships urges people to move from deadlock to dialogue. There is always the potential for more conflict, but good people with good motives need to talk. Be sure to head first for common ground, not fighting ground. Sometimes, to maintain the relationship, people must agree to disagree about a particular area of dispute. Learn to work around things you cannot change.
Paul speaks of this principle of building relationships in his letter to the Philippians, “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed true comrade, I ask you also to help these women” (Philippians 4:2, 3a; cf. Ephesians 4:15, 25). Paul was requesting a mediator to intervene in this troubled relationship, and to begin the process of building positive relationships. The process involves talking and dialogue.
These principles will work for you: accepting responsibility, striving for harmony, breaking deadlocks. Your relationships are important, and so are you. All the best, and have a great day!!
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