The Spectrum

spectrum

I find it interesting to consider the variety of dispositions that one encounters while blogging and writing on Christian related topics. I also find it interesting to note how I view what I write and how I interact with others and how others view what I write and interact with me.

I’ve always gotten along relatively well with others that I worked with, both with superiors and those who were under my charge. I was fortunate enough to have some really good mentors guide me along the way, both in my Christian associations and also with my professional, earn a living, endeavours.

Working in a military environment for 35 years also has a tendency to make one focus on designated responsibilities and ownership accountability. Even after I retired from serving in the military, the things that I learned in the military served me well in the civilian employment that I entered into. Conflict resolution was one important aspect of leadership responsibilities that taught me a lot about human nature, including myself.

I’ve also been involved in Church related activities for many years and I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of functions. Now that my wife and I are “getting on”, so to speak, our participation is more limited that it was when we were younger, due to physical and mental capabilities. Short story is that as one ages beyond 70, capabilities that one used to possess do not always continue with the same strength and ability that one used to have. As an example, I used to be able to handle a number of complex projects simultaneously whereas now, multitasking is no longer one of my finest attributes. I’m still able to focus relatively well but I prefer to focus on one thing at a time.

Due to the nature of my professional vocation (Information Technology) and from a personal perspective, I’ve always been a little analytical because I like to understand how various things work and the process that is involved that increases the probability of success. Sometimes that can be a good thing and other times, not so much. Sometimes my quest for understanding can be mistaken for criticism. Asking questions doesn’t necessarily mean I am questioning your faith, what I sometimes do is inquire about the logic being used and that questioning isn’t always received well. Even when it is clarified that it is not criticism, the mere fact that a question is raised can cause friction.

Which brings me to the focus of this particular article. One learns very quickly that there are different types of people. Some are easy to get along with, some can be a little touchy and there are others who are just out and out difficult. That is true from my experience in the military, civilian employment, church members and also with blogging.

Even though most of us have hundreds of people who follow one another on our blogs, there is what I call, a much smaller inner core of people that actually reach out to one another on a relatively continual basis. And this is where the spectrum comes into play. I haven’t encountered any difficulties with the vast majority of the smaller inner core that I communicate with. We give and take with one another and generally endeavour to lift one another up. I find this a good thing and a source of encouragement. None of us are perfect, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses and there are many who have been dealt much more difficult valleys to deal with than I have gone through. We can indeed all learn from one another in our walk with Jesus. And there are undoubtedly some who have knowledge and skills that I do not possess, so I am also able to learn from them. Again, this is a good thing.

There are however, a small number that one infrequently encounters that falls outside of the norm. Short story is it happens. I’m thinking that when the abnormal becomes the normal, one should seriously consider doing some self examination. Considering all of the different perspectives there are within Christianity and the numerous changes that are happening within our society now, which also can bring politics into the equation, it’s not surprising that feathers can infrequently be ruffled. I posted an article recently on some lessons that I personally learned when dealing with political differences of opinion. Good intentions do not always equate to good communication, and I’m talking about myself here.

There’s a couple of scripture verses that come to mind on how we are to deal with conflict, especially within the Christian family. Romans 12:17-18 NIV reads: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

It’s that “as far as it depends on you” part that we are responsible for. It’s not always easy to not return angry words for angry words or to let false accusations go unresponded to, but that is what we sometimes are asked to do. Where our pride is put aside for the sake of maintaining peace or at a minimum, to ensure that any current friction, does not escalate, unnecessarily.

Friction is not always going to be able to be avoided but it can be partially controlled and it can be partially limited, on our part. Friction can and does infrequently happen, but it shouldn’t be our norm and it should, as far as it depends on us, be limited, if at all possible.

Just some personal thoughts that I have had to rethink as of late and I thought I would share.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Good words to ponder on, Bruce. We are responsible for our interactions with others and our response to their comments/needs. We can take heart, however, because we can call on the Lord and His Spirit to encourage us to forgive, to turn the other cheek, to do whatever it takes to salvage the relationship or to diffuse the flame. Take heart, you are not the only one who has to rely on those words, “as far as it depends on you”!

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    1. Thanks Linda, and you’re right, when we truly listen, Jesus and His Holy Spirit will guide us. The hard part is stopping the rhetoric in one’s mind and listening. Grace and blessings to you and yours.

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    1. Hi Linda Lee, It’s never easy when our emotions get involved and they inevitably do. It’s only then that one comes to realize how much of oneself is still just below the surface and ready to rise up again. I can’t answer for others, only myself. I didn’t respond as I once would have but I still could have done a lot better. Always something to learn. You apologized and relatively quickly. I tried to do the same but it wasn’t received as such. We tried, I’m thinking that is about all one can do. Pride is not a Christian’s friend. Hope your daughter is doing well and your hubby and you are both OK. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours.

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  2. I understand what you are saying. I learned to leave politics well enough alone when I joined a ministry group. I feel free to talk about issues, but I leave the political differences to others. I find mentioning them only divides people and we strive to bring people together and expose them to a different opinion than they are used to. Keep up the good work, Bruce!

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    1. Yes he does Lesley but if we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to Forgive us Our Sins, and to Cleanse us from all Unrighteousness. The cleansing isn’t always fun but it is necessary. You have yourself a blessed day!

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  3. I like the spectrum concept Bruce as it seems a great way to describe the vast array of people and personalities attempting to practice life the way they have chosen. I am not quick to create or resolve conflict. It’s a calculated tool to be a last measure. Most of the time not worth it.
    so when I see words shot with barbs on the end I move on. You and I would do well around a camp fire in the woods several portages back in to the wilderness…

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    1. Gary, you have no idea how much I would enjoy that! I usually don’t have any problems with dialogue with non-Christians, because I can easily walk away if discord escalates but as of the last couple of weeks I’ve been on a bit of a roll with one or two fellow Christians. I’ll be glad when the peaceful norm comes back. It definitely keeps me on my toes. Gave myself a “B”, could have done better. By the way, I can hear the fire crackling from here! Blessings!

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