I was talking to a great friend of mine recently about the lessons we learn in life. Some lessons are simple and easy to recognize while others are not so much. We were talking about how sometimes the more tedious a lesson may seem the more patience and thought are required to overcome it. Sometimes one of the toughest lessons we must learn in life is how to understand where others are speaking from and not be so harsh to judge. Someone may be snappy one day or short with you and you take it personally. What was said sinks into your mind and starts to play games with your emotions even though that’s not what was meant. Before you know it, that little tiny comment’s cut has been looked at, covered up and even ignored… but it starts to fester. You become angry, bitter, lonely and despondent. Your thoughts take you to places you never meant to go. You begin to exclude yourself from the presence of other people. This lesson can cut so deeply between two people if the lesson is never taught the right way. The worst thing for two people to do when they have conflict is to avoid one another, and put each other down to make one feel more successful or righteous. Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving forward.” I want to add to Einstein’s quote by include that before you get on the bike you first need know how to ride it and the learning can be quite painful. There will be bumps, scrapes and bruises in the beginning, but if you ever want to ride that bike you first need to count the cost and never give up. It may hurt to take a conflict to someone brother-to-brother, sister-to-sister or even friend-to-friend. As bad as it hurts hearing the remark that started it all, it’s even worse to have to reopen the wound and confront the person you are having this conflict with. However, only once you accept the pain and the infection has been treated properly will you be able to move forward with your life. Every lesson we learn in this life, we learn the best by facing the problem head-on with a desire to improve and be better. We aren’t necessarily doing this for ourselves, but rather we do this to teach others so these lessons can be passed on. We’re all in this life together and it’s up to us all to help each other keep moving forward just like riding a bicycle.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” Matt. 18:15