Morning Meditation: Taking the High Road
Years ago, we had a dog that, regardless of how many times he went outside to use the bathroom, LOVED using the bathroom on one particular rug.
It was gross beyond measure.
It was a tiny dog, so while the excrement was also small, it was difficult to see because he always chose the dark spots on the rug to leave his physical offering. Unfortunately, before we knew that this was “his” site, he left several offerings for us to find.
The first time we had our “aha moment of discovery,” his gifts were a day old. Crusty. They were dried up.
We tried to be diligent about teaching him NOT to use that rug but to no avail. Thus, after a few more weeks of continued effort with no improvement, the decision was made to remove the carpet. Of course, no one wants to step on dog feces of any kind at any place, but certainly not in one’s home.
When we have conflictual situations with one another, and we refuse to deal with them, it’s much like the leftover dog excrement sitting around on a carpet. The longer it goes unaddressed, the nastier it becomes. Eventually, if we aren’t careful, it’s almost as if it gets swept under the carpet and stays there indefinitely, to be stepped on, smashed, and ultimately leaves a stain that is unable to be undone.
Since Sunday’s message, I’ve had five different families tell me, “We never talk about conflict when we have it. We argue, hurtful things are said, and then we never return to it. It’s as if it never happened, but the hurt still hangs out there. We never find any resolution.”
Jesus honestly did try to point us to how we can experience life and do it abundantly.
AND . . . he was pretty clear about how to deal with conflict with someone else.
“Does someone have a problem with you? Go to them.”
Don’t sweep it under the rug. Don’t let it sit and rot for days. You go.
If the first time it doesn’t work, go again.
And . . . again.
The bottom line? We are always called to take the first step to resolve the conflict. It requires humility and swallowing our pride. It requires empathy. It requires grace.
Is there a situation you’ve been involved in requiring you to speak up?
At some point, we have to break the cycle of conflict avoidance.
It’s the Jesus way.
Hear these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
Speaking up is the Jesus way.
It is the only way.