photo © 2006 Ran Yaniv Hartstein | more info (via: Wylio)
The battles of most of our lives are battles of words rather than violent actions. Sometimes battles can be avoided if we respond differently to the battle cry of others. Often instead we become locked into our position convinced that battle is our only option. We feel that once the battle lines have been drawn we have no option. We often think that once we have prepared for battle, which is usually gathering evidence and solidifying our arguments in our own minds, then the battle must happen.
I was in battle mode this morning. My vehicle had an issue, a safety issue. My husband had talked with the dealership, but it was up to me to go in and do battle. My husband was my rear defense and coach, reminding me of all of our arguments why we should not have to pay for this issue. He then said he would call and dicuss he issue if I could not resolve it to our satisifaction.
Arguments at the ready, body tense for confrontation, I went into my car dealership. Jim, the dealership’s representative may or may not have known that I was ready for battle. My battle preparedness was not his issue. His issue was if he was going to engage in battle or take another approach. He was hospitable, offering to help me, checkng my vehicle in, and getting the mileage off of the vehicle. Then came the moment of potential battle. He listened to my concerns and then agreed with me. Ther was no battle! There was no big confrontation. There was no defensiveness or hostility on his part.
What if all of is practiced more hospitality and respectful listening instead of building up our defenses and preparing for battle? Obviously this is Jom’s job, but what if we acted this way in all of our lives? What if we always consider the possibility that we are wring rather than deciding how to argue our position. What if we greeted others warmly rather than launching into our attcks when we see them? We could smile and ask how we might help others before passing judgement on their actions and attitudes. We could be open to hearing their point of view rather than defending our own. In so doing we might just learn something. We also would be honoring the other person who is created in the image of God. By honoring those created in the image of God, we are also honoring God.
Thanks to Jim for my lesson on battle lines.