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Coming To The Table


Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss important issues with a few good people including Give Your Witness founder, LaShon “Shon” Bush. Some of these conversations were about issues that people find controversial and while controversy should not be feared, the consequences typically are not a good recipe for success.

Think about a marriage or a relationship of any type. If a problem comes up and one person or both people decide not to address is, the problem will not get solved and the situation will only worsen. Eventually, the relationship will be hindered in some way. From my personal experience, if something bothers you, it’s best to get it out in the open and resolve it.

Unfortunately, too many people have been taught or believe that hard issues should not be confronted face to face. In our modern society, people use devices to deliver important messages and while certain situations may call for it, the majority of the problems should be handled face to face. Difficult or not, one of the best problem solving strategies is coming to the table and working with one another to come to some sort of agreement.

One of the most important lessons that I have learned with my fiancé is bringing out the problem(s). If I have something that’s bothering me, I do not let it fester up which only makes things worse. When I was younger, this is not something I would do which caused the problem to boil up inside of me and cause the small problem to become much bigger and too often; this is what the United States faces. Christ taught to act otherwise as we are to bring out things to the open: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15).

Proverbs 29:11 tells us that “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards” and we need to wait until the proper time to bring the problem out. Another problem that I have experienced is people purposely making a scene as a way of bringing the problem out. For example, I see couples who argue in public as a way to avoid a bigger argument in private which is not a good way to handle a dispute. One may reason that by bringing a problem out in public, the other individual will not make a scene and while this may be true, the true emotions do not usually come out which means nothing has been resolved: “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” Philippians 2:3).

One of the most important principles in coming to the table is that the problem(s) can be solved. It is possible that the person who wronged you does not realize they did anything wrong. It may have been a misunderstanding of the person does not understand that it harmed you in any way so the situation should be brought their attention. By doing so, the situation can be confronted and worked out in a mature manner: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). However, if the problem is never brought out, no answer can be given as strife and grief are just two of the possible outcomes: “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Ephesians 4:32 instructs us to “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Be kind and taking care of one another includes making a problem known. Two mature adults should be able to sit down and talk things through and come to some sort of an understanding. If one person does not understand then a compromise of some sort should be made but if the situation shows that an individual is not willing to hear you out or see your side, simply be ready to walk away because it is not worth losing health and happiness over: “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet” (Matthew 10:14).

If a problem comes up and one person or both people decide not to address is, the problem will not get solved and the situation will only worsen.”

What do you think?

Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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