I Can't Believe You Think That!
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom" (James 3:13-14).
"I can't believe you think that," I complained. "I was simply trying to explain that I don't have the same feelings about that issue as you do." The other person's response left little empathy for my position because of the tone in which I had responded. We resigned ourselves to agree to disagree.
We all see things through our own set of glasses at times. Men view things differently than women. Bosses see things differently than employees. One ethnic group will see a situation totally different than another. Our life experiences, our past treatment of circumstances and our personalities all contribute to how we view situations in daily life.
Perception is often each person's reality whether that reality is true or not. Your perception of a situation is going to dictate your response more than the actual reality of it.
Whenever conflict arises from viewing things differently there is really only one way to resolve the difference. Usually the other person is offended by the tone of the other more than the position that is taken. If the other person is offended, we can only offer a few words: "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me for my tone?"
Humbling ourselves is the only way to resolve the relational breach. This does not mean you must agree with the other person's position, it simply means you acknowledge their right to their position and you apologize for the manner in which you responded to their statements. This will usually allow most conflicts to avoid a breach in the relationship.
Is there someone you need to seek forgiveness from for taking an adversarial position?