Handling a confrontation can be tricky, we all know that.
Yesterday on my way from the post office, I had a nasty confrontation with someone I believed had done me wrong. But when it was all over, I looked back at it. Even now as I write this post, I now understand what I did wrong.
I hold forgiveness as one of the key elements of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle.
The bible tells us clearly how to handle confrontations. And most of the time we think we can adhere to the bible. Well, until we are actually in the middle of a real confrontation and we find ourselves pushing aside everything the bible tells us to do.
That is exactly what I did.
Someone owed me money and I saw him as I was coming from the post office. The best thing, as per the bible, would’ve been to go to him in private and talk to him about that.
But I didn’t do that. I yelled all the way from where I was standing. And I felt justified in doing so because I believed this man’s mistake was intentional and I could’ve sworn he didn’t want to pay me given that his debt was almost two years old and he’d come to me with the worst intentions in the first place.
Needless to say, the confrontation went badly. I was mad because he was being dishonest and he was mad because he felt I was being rude, shouting at him from far. In the end, I got my money but I felt anything but triumphant as I went back home.
What could I have done better?
- First of all, I should’ve gone and spoken to him privately and calmly.
- Regardless of whether or not I felt he was being honest, I should’ve accepted his apology because he kept telling me he was sorry.
But I didn’t think his apology was sincere given his reputation. Please take note that his reputation didn’t matter at that point. He was telling me he was sorry and I should’ve forgiven him.
I wrote a post about forgiveness just a few days ago and reminded you that we should learn to forgive others if we want to enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle. We should forgive others whether or not we feel like they deserve our forgiveness, and regardless of how much they hurt us. Read that post here.
Yet at that point of the confrontation, I threw all that out of the window and felt like I was entitled to being angry. But I wasn’t. Anger is the birthplace of everything bad. It’s not only harmful to the person it’s directed to, but also to you who expresses it. It’s poison that will stay with you long after the confrontation is over and eat you up inside.
So, this confrontation happened around 12 noon, and yet when I went to bed at 10pm, I was still seething.
This morning I caught myself swearing I was never going to help this person. And I thought to myself, “wait a minute. Whatever happened to all the forgiveness and love I preach in my blog and in my everyday life to the people around me?”
I’ve quoted this verse before and I’ll quote it again.
2 Corinthians 2 v 7: When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they won’t give up in despair. (CEV)
Let’s forgive others for their mistakes so they’ll forgive us for ours. No one is perfect, but forgiving and loving each other will free us so we can enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle.
We learn from our mistakes, and I learned from mine. I’ve let go of the regrets I have but now know how to handle confrontations when they come up again. Because even though we must try our best to avoid them at all costs, they are bound to come up as long as we share our space and world with each other.
The final word
There’s a lot of unforgiveness going around, that’s why evil rules this world. But you and I don’t have to contribute to that. We can slowly but surely change the world by playing our individual parts in forgiving others for their mistakes, and encouraging others to do the same.
We won’t always do that right. Sometimes we’ll be ruled by our emotions; we are human after all. But as long as we reevaluate our actions and realize where we went wrong in handling situations, then we can go back and remedy them.
A simple healthy lifestyle is not based on perfection, but on trying every day, learning from our mistakes instead of beating ourselves up over them. Read the word of God and don’t depart from the Lord’s counsel. He’s the best thing we can hope for in this life and beyond.
Thank you for reading this post. I felt like I needed to get these things out of my chest, air my mistakes so you can learn from them. Please let us know your thoughts on this post. How do you handle confrontations?