WRITTEN BY ALETHEA AWUKU - MARCH 2017
In a world of 'no likey, no lighty's, we can be quick to ditch and dash in relationships at the first sign of weakness. As an extra from our spring feature, we've got four top tips for getting past imperfections in relationships. For the full feature order the spring issue of Clarity now ...
Right to be wrong
It can be so difficult to tolerate someone if their view is completely different to yours. Especially if it goes against your moral compass. But we have to give them room - rather than magnifying their weaknesses in order to justify a point or demand a change. It’s great if you are able to share your view and be open to learning another’s perspective. We suggest making sure that we mention the great qualities in those who are close to us, just as much as we challenge their weaknesses. It is important to remember that the love of Christ displayed is ultimately what brings about transformation in a person, and not constant criticism and fault-finding.
Just miss - understanding
A person’s actions can speak volumes about the real issues or attitudes that are going on inside. That’s why it’s so important to proactively and humbly get to know the ‘whys’ behind the actions of a person who is different to you in style and personality. For example, someone who seems ‘too loud’ for you may be fully equipped to lead an entire social event, and those who may seem lazy may have had a history of knockbacks when trying new things, and could need a confidence boost from a loving person. This could open up a wonderful and rewarding conversation, and create a new appreciation for your relationship.
Consider the cross. Consider the love and fool-proof forgiveness God has for us! In doing so, we receive a reminder that we are not perfect either. Reflect on his plea for those who mocked, beat and crucified him: ‘forgive them’. As we do, it becomes easier to extend grace to others, as God has extended it to us through the cross. From this viewpoint, we get some objectivity, and are encouraged to see someone who has offended, hurt or disappointed us from the perspective of the cross, and not through our emotions and personal thoughts.
Every day is a school day
We can all learn something from someone, no matter how painful the learning experience may be for us. Perhaps start off by writing down some of the great qualities that you admire in a person and also the qualities they may be developing in you. This can help to highlight ways that others can challenge you to be better. This could help to shape your attitude and gratitude towards those who are sharing your journey.
Illustration: Imogen Kershaw