Tackle the issue, not the person.
Ouch. True, but ouch.
You know, I think I am right most of the time and don’t mind doing all I can to convince you of this truth. This is especially true if you have hurt me before, bringing up those hurts just help prove my point. But “remembering rocks” hurt and doing nothing to bring about resolution and resolution is what we should be about.
I am convinced however, that we can’t move forward in our relationships without resolutions. We can’t enjoy and embrace the wonderful life God has given us if we choose to live in conflict with others. Yes. Conflict steals life.
When I am at odds with a person the ones who have nothing to do with the conflict end up paying the price for my failure to resolve. God tells us through David to seek and purse peace. ”Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14. Even if I am not the cause of the conflict God expects me to seek and pursue peace. If my reasons for being angry or hurt are valid, God expects me to seek and pursue peace. Even if they person on the other side of the conflict refuses to accept their responsibility I am to seek and pursue peace.
Lysa suggests two great ways to seek and pursue peace. She says to ask questions in order to clarify and not accuse. (See the list on page 47-48) The second suggestion is to use the right tone. Now I can have me some girlfriend hands-on-the-hip southern sassy tone. No, coming up with the questions is not my problem. I have the unique ability to ask a clarifying, non-accusing question with a tone that totally derails its purpose. I have had a tone problem for years. My husband has always said, “It is not what you say Wendy, it is how you say what you say?” Our tone can take our words, even if they are sugary sweet and attack the person rather than resolve the issue. Tone makes the person on the other side of the conflict a defender instead of a receiver.
Since I have tone trouble God put a verse in the Bible just for me. Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” It has served me well over the years. Feel free to borrow it if needed. With a God’s guard over our mouth and the Lord watching the door of our lips we will have less conflicts to resolve.