Others Before Ourselves
It’s hard sometimes to understand the reaction of others to our best efforts at something. We have both good intentions and a desire to make things or situations better, yet not everyone agrees.
What do we do?
I’ve been at a loss at times as to how my efforts could be misunderstood, but I’ve been on the other side of that fence too, and jumped to wrong conclusions myself. Probably all of us have.
If my own experiences have taught me anything, it’s that apologizing even when I’ve done or said nothing wrong often slows or stops the situation from getting worse. Then lots of prayer and letting God open doors to fix what is broke works most of the time.
Should I consider other’s feelings in my initial actions? Of course, even if what I’m doing is good and right. The Apostle Paul left us an example of not eating meat if him doing so was detrimental to others, even though he had every right and it wasn’t sinful. He valued their concerns over his rights. He was willing to sacrifice in this way to prevent problems.
We don’t see a societal push nowadays to put anybody’s concerns or interests ahead of ours, but it’s still a Biblical principle and something we are called to do.
We can’t always avoid conflict and there is a time and place to educate the other person who has the lack of knowledge so that they can understand. But waiving our rights in their face gains us nothing.
It’s impossible to show Jesus to someone who refuses to talk to us because of a divide we created, even if the problem isn’t in what we did, but their perception of it!