"He had a lot of turns already, it's my turn.", screams the three year old voice, that I hear before I even see him. He's running in my room to tell me he's been wronged. They were supposed to take turns watching YouTube videos on my phone, but big brother had taken over and little brother felt wronged. He came looking to me for justice. Big brother has a different take on the situation... He was holding the phone so they could both see and picking videos he thought they would both like. He didn't see that he had done anything wrong and really he's right, but little brother is right too.
This reminds me of a similar situation I'm working through in my own life. I see it one way and the other person in my life sees the situation totally differently. How could we both be right? How could we both be wrong?
There is no reasoning with the 3 year old. He can't see how things could actually work out better if he lets his big brother hold the phone. He just wants what he wants. There is no amount of common sense that you can talk into a 3 yr old, who's got their mind made up. He throws himself down in the floor and has a fit when I won't force his big brother to give up the phone mid-video. He thinks me cruel and unjust.
I do the same thing. Whether it's with my husband or a friend, all I see is my side and from where I'm pouting... I'm right. I'm right and they are wrong. The whole situation would be resolved if they could just see things the way I do.
The thing is I understand why I see things my way. Like my 3 yr old I feel very justified in my position. It is my turn to hold the phone. We are supposed to take turns. That's all there is to it. But from the other person perspective when the 3 yr old holds the phone he holds it in a way that no one else can see the screen. So, to his practical minded older brother it's an easy fix, he will hold the phone and they can both see, but his solution violates the fairness of taking turns.
The older brother is no saint in this situation... he's just coming up with a solution that works best for him and really that's all that matters. I get him too. He just wants to watch a video or 10. He really could care less whether little bro watches with him or not. In fact it would be easier if his little brother found something else to do, then he could have the phone all to himself. If someone else is going to cause drama in my life I would rather just go on without them. Looking at the situation from their point of view is not my top priority.
Sadly, with this kind of conflict resolution I can look behind me and see many broken relationships. There will be a point in every relationship where misunderstanding and lack of communication cause tension. We are all unique and we see the world from very different perspectives. I feel justified about the way I think or I wouldn't think that way, but so does the other person in my life. I see life through the lens of my experiences, but my experience may be a very different one from the friend I'm struggling to understand.
What do we do when we can't seem to understand. When we are tempted to walk away from this person because our differences make it seem impossible to resolve a situation? We do what God does with us.
We extend grace. The word grace means "unmerited favor". We give favor. This takes humility on our parts.
We humble ourselves, lower our opinion of ourselves. We can do this... Christ was our example.
"But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man: and being found in the fashion of a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Phil 2:7-8
Even though He was God, he humbled himself out of LOVE for us. He proved his love for us in that while we were yet sinners he died for us. The Righteous One for the wrong ones.
We humble ourselves and give grace.
I love what David says in Psalms 103:14 "For he knows our frame; and he remembers that we are just dust."
He knows means- He understands our constitution... and because he understands he gives grace. In our relationships a little understanding would go a long way. If we could look from the other person's perspective. If we would lower ourselves like Jesus did and repair the relationship at any cost to our own selves then we would truly be in the right.
When I truly love someone above myself I will look for ways to understand where they are coming from. I won't hold on to being right at the expense of the relationship. I will humble myself and try to see the situation from their perspective and if I can't do that I will show them grace (favor) just because I love them... Like God the Father showed me favor by giving His Son as a ransom for my life. No personal price was too great for God to pay in order to restore a right relationship with me. How could I then withhold grace and mercy from those I claim to love?
PS.... I'm not there yet... probably never will be. It's a process I have to work through. Sometimes it takes a very long time for me to get there, but I know it's the right way!