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Have that hard conversation now

If you go back far enough in our Barnes family tree, you’ll find a great-great grandmother who brutally squashed a budding romantic relationship.  Reminds me of the scene out of the movie, The Notebook.  The pain of her manipulation must have been horrific. Fast forward a coupl…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

If you go back far enough in our Barnes family tree, you’ll find a
great-great grandmother who brutally squashed a budding romantic
relationship.  Reminds me of the scene
out of the movie, The Notebook.  The
pain of her manipulation must have been horrific.

Fast forward a couple of generations to the present – I
loved so many things about my extended family, but in part because we were a
family of Type A’s, we didn’t manage conflict well. 
 
I learned that it was unsafe to speak my mind
and developed a bad habit – I became passive-aggressive.  Better to shut down rather than risk World
War III with people stronger than me.

The problem is, that kind of behavior makes for poor leadership.  As a leader responsible for telling the truth no matter how
ugly it may seem, some time ago I saw my dysfunction and determined to
change.  The Bible asks us to tell the
truth in love, but actually learning to do that is tough. Conflict can be
painful.

As I became more and more involved in mediating other
people’s disputes, I saw that burying the conflict only made the day of
reckoning worse.  The original issue
becomes encrusted with the barnacles of other complicating factors.  You begin to formulate arguments and have
conversations in your head.

This kind of behavior can create huge, gaping wounds in a
person’s mind.  Unless the wounds are treated
through a round of truth-telling, they become infected and begin to create
passive-aggressive habits, habits that eventually undermine your character.

The way back to healthy living is through the pain.  You have to try to tell the truth in
love.  It will hurt for a season, but
only the truth can set you free. 

Hey, all of us have got dysfunction of one sort or another in our families, and if you’re like me, some of it may have seeped into the way you relate to other people.  You know it’s not how you want to be, so maybe today is the day to decide to take action.  Take
some time to ask God to reveal the tough conversations you’ve put off.  Ask him to show you what to say and when to
say it.  He’ll give you a doorway through
the pain.

Comments (2)

  • This is so true…and so difficult. We need to be an encouragement to one another and sometimes this includes encouraging each other to speak of difficult things.

  • This is where I am in my life right now. I didn’t know how to describe it or what to do about it. Like so many things in life when I ask God answers. Thank you for sharing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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