Have That Hard Conversation

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you…..(Eph 4:32)

Years ago a person close to me hurt me deeply. I harbored deep bitterness and anger towards har. I did a good job of hiding all of it until one day it all came pouring out. Of course, it was ugly. It was not kind, but it was the beginning of forgiveness. I apologized for my actions and we actually came to a point of deep forgiveness and reconciliation with one another.

Some of us are so afraid of upsetting others in conversation that we just don’t have the hard talks. A few weeks ago I was officiating at a youth tournament. I was working with someone I’d never worked with before. Someone newer to the officiating world. I am by no means a veteran official, but I certainly had more experience than this person. During the first couple of games we had some younger boys and although my partner had far too many whistles and called many, many fouls and violations that were clearly in my area I didn’t say anything to him about it, because I didn’t want to rock the boat. Until we started having some 7th grade boys games and all of those little problems became big problems at the older level.

I thought, “I have to talk to him.” Truthfully, I didn’t want to, because I didn’t want to upset him, but I knew I had to so we could call a better game.

As soon as our short halftime began, I said to him, “We have to adjust.” Then I spoke some loving but hard words to him about his officiating. He heard me, listened and adjusted. The rest of the day went so much better. It was amazing. All because I was willing to have a conversation that could have potentially went bad.

We need to have the hard conversations. Even if they’re a bit ugly. We need to have them. If we don’t, only bitterness and resentment grow. We give space for the enemy to fill our head with all manner of lies. Lies that only divide us further. So friend, if you feel like talking about it just isn’t worth it because you’ve been down this road so many times, keep talking. Not talking about it, shutting down the conversation before it starts only further divides you and that person, but I get it, part you says, “Forget it, this relationship isn’t worth it! I’ll give my energy to relationships that are more life-giving and fun.” I understand all of that, but at the end of the day, most relationships are more worth it than we think, so keep pursuing one another in forgiveness and reconciliation and if you have a hard word, say it in love.

Lord, help me to see first your kingdom and to love others deeply. To forgive and let go. To trust and abide. To walk by faith and not by sight. Lord, help me to do that now, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

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