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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Learning To Fix The Problem, Not The Blame

In review of Colossians 3:8 it says “You must also rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

Bottom Line:
You must get rid of anger, rage, malice, slander, cursing and filthy language. Furthermore, let no insults or obscene talk come from your lips.

What this means to me:
I must get rid of any anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, cursing or filthy language from my life. I should not let any insults or obscene talk come from my mouth.

I only have a certain amount of emotional energy, so when I’m in a conversation and trying to resolve conflict, I can use that energy to fix the blame or I could use that same energy to fix the problem. I won’t have energy to do both. They key is to ask myself what’s more important; to blame the person or to resolve the conflict. The overall goal should be to fix the problem.

As Rick Warren explains, “during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. were at each other’s throats, the U.S. had thousands of intercontinental missiles aimed at the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had thousands of intercontinental missiles aimed at us, too. Even when we were at the worst point in the Cold War and there was enormous tension, both sides still had enough sanity to say, some weapons we just aren’t going to use because they’re “MAD” — mutually assured destruction. If you use yours, we’re going to use ours, and we’re going to destroy each other, and there won’t be anything. So even when we were on opposite sides of an issue, we could at least agree not to use those weapons.”

Likewise, we need to agree that no matter how upset we may be with each other, certain words are out of bounds, because they will destroy the relationship by tearing down trust.

The Bible is very specific about what’s out of bounds. Colossians 3:8 says, “You must also rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (NIV). These are like weapons of mass destruction.

The reason for the need to focus on fixing the problem, is because blaming is a only a form of judging, and only God has the right to judge. I’m not the judge. I can’t figure out anybody else’s motivation. I don’t even know my own motivation most of the time! Only God knows. So, I’ll let him be the judge.

So for me, using anger or rage in any response would not be appropriate. Likewise, exercising malicious behavior or speaking slanderous words are off-limits.  Any most of all, I need to prevent myself from speaking any insults or having obscene talk come from my mouth.

By setting boundaries in a relationship, I’ll be able to focus on solving a problem instead of just finding the blame.

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