Monday, July 16, 2012

The Solution for All Relational Dysfunction


Jesus.



That was easy, right. Seriously, Jesus is the answer, or better yet, Jesus' attitude is the answer.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,but made himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himselfand became obedient to death—even death on a cross!


Just list-thinking out loud here; but, recognizing that we all take different lengths of time to assume the attitude of Christ,maybe the path to relational healing looks something like this:
  • Betrayal. Most relational dysfunction begins when one party feels betrayed by another. Whether it is a "behind the back" betrayal, or a breach of confidence, or the breaking of an unwritten code, betrayal hurts.
  • Anger. Our initial response is anger because our very first instinct is almost always to be severely aware that we have not received the treatment we were entitled to. A sense of entitlement, when not fulfilled almost always results in anger.
  • Hurt. As time passes, the anger fades into a hurt as we realize the betrayal was not just an injustice done to us, but a life-changing relational loss. Recognizing we can no longer trust or confide in someone we once did is painful.
  • Pity. When we are finally able to take the camera of our mind off ourselves, we begin to realize our "enemies" actions are a reflection of their own shortcomings, not ours. The betrayal we experienced was beyond our control. Since we are no longer obsessed with our own self entitlement, we are able to feel sympathy toward the person who wronged us.
  • Love. Love is a choice, not a feeling. When we are no longer concerned with our own needs, desires, expectations, etc. we are able to CHOOSE to concern ourselves with the needs of others. The truest, most Christlike love is to choose to be concerned with the needs, desires, and expectations of others; particularly our enemies.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
  • Reconciliation. Having been reconciled to God, we are able to reconcile to our brother and our neighbor. In fact, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We cannot control who will or will not betray us. We can control whom we reconcile ourselves to. We must learn to aggressively pursue the right we can control and relentlessly forgives the wrongs we cannot control.

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