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Oh, but it is too hard

Crucial Conversations - have you read the book? Crucial Confrontations - have you read that one? These are pretty much 'required reading' for anyone desiring to promote up through the ranks, as the leadership skills of having those 'tough conversations' or saying what may be 'uncomfortable' to say is needed if you are to lead well. Seeing things and then knowing what to do about them is quite different, isn't it? We can all observe things in others, but how do we go about 'doing' anything about what we see? Some of us shy away from those confrontational kinds of moments as though they might be similar to the 'plague' of ancient days! We just aren't comfortable with them and we know the other person won't be either!

Brothers and sisters, someone in your group might do something wrong. You who are following the Spirit should go to the one who is sinning. Help make that person right again, and do it in a gentle way. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin too. Galatians 6:1 ERV

There is nothing easy about observing a brother or sister in our circle of influence making bad decisions and heading in wrong directions. We can oftentimes spot those 'wrong steps' quicker than they can - being an observer and not a participant in them. If you are anything like me, you could be labeled a "conflict avoider" - you just don't like the 'discomfort' of having conflict in your life. Truth be told, there are a lot of people who handle conflict well and aren't afraid to take the step to point out where change is needed. There are others of us that get walked on too much, put up with things we probably shouldn't put up with, or simply walk away from relationships because the things we see aren't good and we cannot bring ourselves to deal with the conflict they may cause us.

Don't get me wrong - we aren't to 'instigate' arguments or conflict. We are to gently and humbly hold each other accountable. Don't skip over those two words - gently and humbly. Gentleness is a character trait of the Holy Spirit resident within our lives - it isn't part of our nature to be gentle or kind. We are a little too 'self-absorbed' on occasion and 'inward-focused' to actually respond in the kindest of manners all of the time. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to interact with each other in a manner that reflects the attitude of thinking of someone other than ourselves. Relationship is always two-sided. We aren't the center of it - Christ is! When we lay ourselves down, Christ is free to be the center of our relationships and where he dwells, there is gentleness.

A humble appraisal of one's own 'stumbling' points is necessary if we are to have any form of open and honest relationship with God and others. To think one is above stumbling is dangerous ground. This is why we are reminded accountability has both a gentle side and a humble one! Crucial conversations are those that need to be had. They aren't idle words - they are purposeful and often challenging, but they are necessary. There will be times when what is said isn't going to sit well, but until the words are shared, no growth in the relationship will come. When these words are spoken in gentleness and with great humility, there is more potential introduced into the relationship. That potential is that of love, forgiveness, the laying down of grudges or jealousy, and the opening of one's self to the potential of restoration. Don't skip the hard words - don't run away from hard conversations. If we want to have deep and meaningful relationships we need these 'hard moments'. Just sayin!

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