Jesus puts a real damper on the drama of being angry with somebody.
When someone has hurt us, we want everyone to know about it. That’s
what Facebook and Tweeter are for. We like to broadcast our pain so
that others can take our side and maybe feel sorry for us.
Jesus says, “No, that’s not the way. Go to the person who has harmed you
and talk about the problem. Keep the issue between the two of you. It’s
nobody else’s business.” That cuts rumor control way down—leaves
very little to gossip about. Imagine how different our world would be if
we would try to work things out with people who have offended us or
whom we have offended. We could start in our family—husbands and
wives might consider speaking with each other rather than consulting
the in-laws, or worse, the children. All families will inevitably
experience difficulties. Best to keep matters within the home. At times
outside help is necessary—a third person. However, God gives each
family the grace to rise above any difficulty. We can develop coping
skills. However, since we have free will, we can also choose to fight.
Certain personalities are more inclined to fight. “Give us this day our
daily fight.” They thrive on disagreement. That’s what made the “I Love
Lucy” show so popular—a hot headed Cuban man married to a scatter
brain red headed lady. The show revolved around some sort of tension
between the two of them, but in the end, love always won. The show was
appropriately named because everybody loved Lucy, especially Ricky,
her husband. That’s what makes a marriage work or fail—the
willingness to work through the problems or allowing the problems to
become greater than love. Not to pick on families, but every family is a
reflection of the Church. If the Faith is not being lived in the home, then
there is no hope for the Church.
Our personalities, attitudes, prejudices develop within our family. By
the time a child is 5 years old, the child is formed in the areas that set the
pace for life. Parents have the enormous responsibility to be the first
teachers of their child in the Faith, and in resolving conflicts. Conflicts
are part of everyone’s life. We all have different opinions. Opinions are
like belly buttons—everybody’s got one. Therefore, “wherever two or
three are gathered to pray, it shall be granted to them.” But wherever
two or three are gathered and disagree, there are problems. Christ gave
us the power to bind and to lose—to hold grudges or to forgive.
Whatever we do has lasting consequences.
Obviously, our actions leave tracks. We affect one another for better and
for the not so good. In other words, we have the power to bless or to
curse. Some of us have a shorter fuse than others. We want to avoid
situations where we lose control and say things that will offend. Words
are like toothpaste; once they get out, we can’t get them back in.
Emotions can overpower us and before we realize, we’ve said stuff we
don’t mean. The question is: do we hold on to negativity and refuse to
forgive or do we let go? Pride will always sneak in to tempt us that we
are right and everyone else is wrong. Pride is the enemy of forgiveness.
There are folks who have been fighting for years. Some even forget what
the original cause was. When in doubt, remember the first step, speak to
the person with whom we have difficulty. When we blow away the
smoke, we usually realize that there is no fire, just a bunch of hot air,
based on pride. We have a choice: to make peace or to allow pride to
win. Given the present differences of opinion we would do well to
remember that people are more important than ideologies, do not
change reality. Rather than having an old fashion Western “showdown”
where one says to the other, “There ain’t room in this town for the both
of us.” We can allow for people who do not agree with us. The script can
be changed: “Although we do not agree, we can still respect each other.”
Jesus Christ must be the center of all that we do, all that we say, and how
we think. His Command is that we love one another even if we do not