The prolific writer and eminent psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud has a lot of experience helping people in relationships. Whether your relationship is at work or with your husband, wife or anyone else, this advice makes good things happen. People who have successful relationships are good at confronting-getting problems talked out. They don’t wait until the problem is too large and poisonous to deal with easily.
People who have successful relationships use their anger well, they are proactive and loving in confronting other people about issues and problems.
Cloud says that anger can be a good thing because it can make you realize something is wrong. I agree that anger is certainly not always wrong, but it seems to me that anger can cause so many problems that it is best not to act out in anger. When angry, it is best to calm down first before confronting someone.
When confronting, use kindness. Don’t attack the person, but try your best to help the other person understand why you don’t like what they are doing. For example, instead of saying “I don’t like you because you always say (or do)….” a more successful way to handle the problem is to say “It makes me feel bad when you say (or do)….”
Many people say the person who has a grudge against them should be the one who comes to them to make the situation right, but they are hurting themselves if they operate this way.
Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Jesus is saying that our relationships with people are so important that if someone is holding a grudge against you, you should go seek to make it right and get the problem solved. Giving a gift to God when your relationships are not right is a waste of time.
Relationships are so important to God that he says that not taking care of our relationships will hinder our prayers:
1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives… so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
Of course this goes for women to men and parents to children, children to parents. In other words, all relationships.
Don’t avoid confrontation, just do it with kindness and clarity. Avoiding confrontation is like avoiding the dentist when you need a root canal. The root canal is not a fun thing to have done, but it will make you feel much better later. Anger and resentment that builds up in a relationship is a lot like the infection building up inside your gums when you need work done by a dentist. The infection needs to be drained out, if not it begins to eat away at the flesh and causes more damage. Anger and resentment eat away at relationships and cause all sorts of poisonous problems.
God gives you enormous power because his Holy Spirit is living inside you. He gives you everything you need to maintain love in your relationships. And best of all, God loves you even more than you love yourself. He wants what is best for you even more than you do. Don’t worry, he’ll take care of you. If you have faith, he will do it.