"The UpTick Rule"
Have you seen the Walgreen's commercials? They picture a rosy, idyllic scenario where everything in life works, everyone agrees with each other, and nobody gets sick. Their tagline is something like, "This is a perfect world. For the imperfect world, there's Walgreens."
I'd love to live in a world where nobody disagreed, there were no conflicts at home and at work and at church. But that's not ever going to happen. We don't live in a perfect world. We live in a fallen world. And anytime you're dealing with people—sinners—you're bound to have conflicts.
The question then becomes, "How do I manage my conflicts?" You say, well, this is pretty heady stuff for a teenager. I'm just trying to make it thru school, get into college, and stay out of trouble.
Ok, but I know you have strained relationships. Unless you're the first perfect teen, you're bound to have disagreements with your parents, you're coaches, and you're friends.
Sometimes they happen because we've done something to hurt someone. If you have, humble yourself and apologize and make that right. But other times, the shoe is on the other foot and somebody somewhere does or says something to offend you.
What do you do? Well, I believe you should confront that person in love. But here's a little rule to take with you in ever confrontation. I call it the "uptick rule." It simply means that you always leave a person feeling that they are valued, have worth, and that God has a plan for their lives.
As a pastor, a father, and a husband, I have a lot of conflicts to deal with. There are times when I have to correct my children because they are not obeying. Sometimes they make me downright mad.
But I try (I don't always succeed) to leave them feeling loved and that they have a bright future.
Sometimes I have to talk to friends who I see straying off the path. Because I love them, I have to share my concerns. But I always want them to leave knowing that God has a great plan for them.
It's the uptick rule. Always encourage. Growing up my pastor had a rule. He said to encourage someone 7 times more than you correct them. This means every rebuke should be wrapped in a thick package of encouragement.
So next time you have a disagreement with Mom or Dad. With your coach or with your brother or sister, remember that rule.
Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at danieldarling.com.