At some point, our friends are going to irritate us. It’s inevitable. Members of our family are going to offend us. It happens. We are going to be tempted to get really angry and blow up!
What happens to a relationship, when the breakdown is significant? I was really irked with someone recently. I will forgo the details in order to protect the guilty. But I will share some choices I made that feel really important.
I asked myself: What caused the offensive behavior on the part of the other person? Here is what I concluded:
The person in question is lacking in social skills. (That’s a reality and not a criticism.)
The person in question is going through a major life change. (That’s understandable.)
Then I asked myself a second question….
When someone is lacking in social skills, should I show them mercy? (of course...)
When someone is going through a major life change, should I extend mercy? (I would think so!)
After posing such questions to myself, I assumed a very different attitude. The focus shifted from being irritated to being intent on showing mercy. That’s a deal changer. Relationships are preserved when mercy triumphs over judgement. Good things happen when we choose to love someone no matter where they are in the journey of life. We consider their failures and extend mercy. My anger toward the person in question has not subsided. But I am choosing to be merciful. I am confident good things will happen as a result.