“Love cares more for others than for self.” 1Co 13:4 TM
Do you remember the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son? He wanted the privileges of being a son, but not the obligations that came with being a brother. And because he couldn’t celebrate his brother’s return, it cost him his joy. Contrary to what you may have heard, speaking critical words doesn’t make you feel better, it just makes you more miserable and keeps the issue alive. The Bible says: “Pleasant words are… healing to the body” (Pr 16:24 AMP). If you value your opinions more than your friends, you’ll defend your opinions and destroy your friendships. When conflicts arise, step back and look at what’s really important. Give others the benefit of the doubt. When working with yourself, use your head; when working with others, use your heart. Learn to be flexible. Thomas Jefferson said, “In matters of principle stand like a rock; in matters of taste swim with the current.” Don’t major in minors, and stop fighting over things that ultimately make no difference. Be gracious with others in the same way God is gracious with you. Mature love allows someone who has failed to ease out of the situation with their dignity intact. Once you’ve made your point, back off! In life, you’re always going to have disagreements. They’ll either give you ulcers or give you understanding—the choice is yours. Don’t over-react; don’t use a bazooka when a BB gun will do. When a conflict arises, make it a time to learn, not lose. If you’re serious about building good relationships, live by the words, “Love cares more for others than for self.”
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