“Stay open to conversations instead of confrontations.” – Nicki Koziarz
Listening to a session about how to engage millennials in our churches, I was struck by the quote, above, by this wise young speaker. (Ten years younger feels like forever ago young!)
Each word she poured out was filled with exceptional wisdom regarding her generation. I felt, by turns, convicted, encouraged, and hopeful. And, as you can imagine, I’m especially thankful for that last one.
Grace equals hope, for me. Listening to each point made, I realized how many opportunities for connection I’ve passed up. But, mercifully, there is grace. And every time I move toward conversation and away from confrontation, I speak Grace a little more fluently.
That quote, though? Sweet Moses! I was also made fully aware of just how quickly I am prone to launching toward the confrontational aspect of an issue. While the speaker made a special point to encourage us to be wary of doing this on social media, I instantly saw how this behavior could carry over in my relationships.
Has carried over into my relationships.
I recalled words exchanged between Sweetman and myself. During one particular and recent incident, hurt layered over my words in ugly ways. I winced as I remembered details of my portion of our discussion. Leaving the conversation on the floor, and opting instead for confrontation, I felt justified.
I didn’t give near enough thought to my end game, though. Harmony in the household is not achieved by angry confrontation. We all know this. I know this. And yet, I don’t do this! And this frustrates me.
I feel like Paul.
Paul’s admission reminds me that I am human (hate that), and that I’m not the first person to experience this dilemma (love that).
He also rightly points out that we don’t fully understand ourselves.
I think this is the part I keep forgetting. We humans can have all the self-awareness in the world. We can be deeply introspective and highly conscious and widely informed about our foibles and propensities.
But, God…He fully understands us.
And loves us anyway.
What delights me is that He continues to use things, like this speaker’s talk on engaging millennials, to reach into my ignorance and show me better ways. He takes what I am and makes me into something kinder. He shepherds me toward grace when I chase after confrontation.
Oh, thank you Lord!
And, when I’m feeling like I just don’t understand myself, I can rest knowing that God surely does.