Restoring Relationships: Defuse Anger with Confession
By Rick Warren
— March 4, 2018
“First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Matthew 7:5 NLT).
The fourth biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to confess your part of the conflict.
If you’re serious about restoring a relationship, begin with admitting your own mistakes or sin. Jesus said it’s the way to see things more clearly: “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Matthew 7:5 NLT).
Because we all have blind spots, you may need to ask a third party to help you evaluate your own actions before meeting with the person with whom you have a conflict.
Also, ask God to show you how much of the problem is your fault. Ask, “Am I the problem? Am I being unrealistic, insensitive, or too sensitive?” The Bible says, “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves” (1 John 1:8 The Message).
Confession is a powerful tool for reconciliation. Often the way we handle a conflict creates a bigger hurt than the original problem itself. But when you begin by humbly admitting your mistakes, it defuses the other person’s anger and disarms their attack because they were probably expecting you to be defensive.
Don’t make excuses or shift the blame. Just honestly own up to any part you have played in the conflict. Accept responsibility for your mistakes, and ask for forgiveness.
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Talk It Over
- What do you think are some important steps in self-evaluation, especially when it comes to conflict with others?
- Why is it so hard to not just identify our faults but also ask others to identify them for us?
- How has asking for forgiveness helped to defuse anger in your past conflicts?
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