To maintain healthy relationships, we need to learn how to keep strife out of our lives. God made each of us as a unique individual. We have different personalities and temperaments; we approach issues in different ways, so we really shouldn’t be surprised when we grate against one another occasionally.
Too often, though, if someone doesn’t agree with our opinion, or see eye to eye with us on some matter, we get angry and allow strife to ferment. I’ve discovered that just because somebody is not exactly like me or doesn’t do things the way I do them, doesn’t necessarily mean I am right, and the other person is wrong. We’re just different and our differences can cause friction.
It takes maturity to get along with somebody who is different from you; it takes patience not to start a dispute over minor issues or become easily offended. If we’re going to keep the strife out of our lives, then we must learn how to give people the benefit of the doubt.
We will also need to overlook some things. Every person has faults; we all have weaknesses. We should not expect that people with whom we are in relationship to be perfect. No matter how great someone may be, no matter how much you love him or her, if you are around that person long enough, you will have an opportunity to be offended. There is no such thing as a perfect spouse, a perfect boss, or even a perfect pastor.
If we’re putting unrealistic expectations on people, expecting them to be perfect, that is not fair to them, and it will be a source of frustration for us. We are always going to be disappointed. Some people live with the attitude, “I’ll love you as long as you never hurt me or as long as you never make a mistake. I’ll be your friend as long as you treat me right. As long as you do things my way, then I’ll accept you, and I’ll be happy.”
But that is extremely unfair and places too much pressure on that other person. Scripture teaches that love makes allowances for people’s weaknesses. Love covers a person’s faults. In other words, you have to overlook some things. Instead of demanding perfection out of your spouse, your children, or other people with whom you are in a relationship, learn to show a little mercy.
Let’s make allowances for each other’s weaknesses; let’s avoid wearing our feelings on our sleeves and being easily offended. Few things are worse than living with a touchy, overly sensitive person. Short of abuse, if somebody offends you or does you wrong, learn to shake it off and move on. Scripture teaches that love believes the best in people.
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Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the judge is standing at the door! (James 5:9)
Become a Better You by Joel Osteen