I just did something I hate to do. I phoned a friend to confront a relational issue. It’s been nearly a month since an incident happened and I’ve been too scared to bring it up. It really needed to be discussed and was in relation to children’s behaviour. Something had happened in our home and while I dealt with it in a small way while the child was here, I needed the mother to know so she could take it up with her child. I had made it to be such a big deal in my mind and yet, my friend’s response was so reasonable and level headed, I don’t know quite what I was worried about.
To my shame, what prompted me to finally deal with it is that I am seeing her on Friday and I knew I couldn’t possibly see her face to face with any integrity if I hadn’t raised the issue. Talk about leaving things to the last minute. The silly thing is, it would have been so much less a big deal if I’d done it on the day it happened. Why do I find it so hard to bring things up?
You can’t move forward in a relationship if there not unity, or true peace.
What in the beginning was an issue I had to forgive, ended up being an issue where I also needed to ask forgiveness for holding out on her for so long.
I’ve asked myself why I was scared to bring it up and much of it was fear of misunderstanding. I was worried she’d think I thought less of her, or that I stood in judgement of her. I was scared she’d think I thought I was superior to her or that my children would never do a thing like that. I was more concerned about her misjudging me, than I was about the fact that in the first place, we were the ones that were ‘wronged’.
It’s the same for me if I’m bumped into by someone while in a crowd. Countless times, someone bumps me thoughtlessly, and I say sorry. If I buy a faulty item I rarely take it back. I had a really bad haircut and did nothing about it. What’s with that? Why do I find it so hard to allow someone know that they have wronged me? I want to keep the peace. Never want to make a fuss. Don’t make a scene. Leave it alone. It’s not a big deal. Don’t say anything. Don’t upset the apple cart. Don’t rock the boat.
And it’s not as noble as it sounds, to let these little offences go, to ‘turn the other cheek’. Because I’m not really meekly turning the other cheek and offering gracious forgiveness. Even though I don’t say anything, I am actually offended. What is worse, I pretend I’m not. Pretense is the real meaning of hypocrisy. It’s a mask.
I am by nature a peace keeper. However, what is better, is a peace maker. Today I finally made peace in the situation. While I was busy being a peace keeper, all I was doing was sweeping the dust under the carpet and I was left knowing there was something amiss. There could never have been any integrity in our friendship if I’d carried on just keeping the ‘peace’. It would have eroded any true relationship until it just went stale and old and redundant. She might never have known why we’d ‘grown apart’ and I’d always have some regret or resentment.
Being a peace maker is actually bringing proper reconciliation. Forgiveness, restitution, and restoration. The wrong righted. Jesus is the ultimate peace Maker. Maybe that’s why it says:
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)