Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

thinking womANHannah hadn’t spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife.

It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here was the rub. It was her mom who said hurtful things to her. Why should she call her? After all, mom was the one who created the problem.

When you’ve been hurt or upset by another person like Hannah was, the tendency is to want to wait until that person comes to you to apologize or talk it out. After all, why should you make the first move when you’ve been wronged?

Don’t wait. Make the first move. It is the right thing to do. 

In my book, I Love My Mother But… I say that only children fight about who goes first. Peacemakers make the move towards peace. If there is distance in a relationship and repair needs to be made, the sooner the process begins, the better. It doesn’t matter who puts down their pride and moves towards reconciliation. What matters is that the process begins.

When it comes to conflict, you are responsible for your actions, not what the other person does. Scripture tells us that if we have ought against our brother, we go to him. It doesn’t say, wait until he/she comes to us. Pride is what usually keeps us from moving forward.

In order to resolve a conflict, make the first move. Go to the person and see if you can work through the hurt or disagreement. You will feel better having taken the step towards repair. This doesn’t guarantee that the other person will be receptive, come around or apologize. But it does provide opportunity for all three of those things to happen. And you will feel better having made an effort.

Hannah picked up her phone and made the call. “Mom, I know we haven’t spoken in awhile. I wonder if we can talk about what happened?” It wasn’t easy to make this move, but when she did, she was relieved. The burden she carried was gone. No matter how her mom responded, she was obedient to the command to go to the person and try to reconcile. She controlled the part of the conflict she could control–her response to the problem. Whatever, the outcome, at least she tried to make amends and be a peacemaker.

 

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