The text messages extended for several consecutive screens on our mobile phones. We were “invited” to participate in a squabble between a property manager and contractor who were both doing work for my business. As my wife and I read the exchanges, it was clear that each party was attempting to gain the upper hand and throw the other under the bus.
When the text messages morphed into CAPS, it was clear that both parties were extremely agitated, silently yelling into cyberspace. Finally, in a huff, the contractor signed off, then separately texted my wife and myself stating, “Jake is a good property manager, but I will never do another job for him.” I turned to my wife and whispered, “I don’t think we should have been included!”
A wise colleague once told me that if an issue cannot be resolved by one exchange of a text, email, or phone call, an in-person meeting is needed. Even if inconvenient, a face to face meeting can make a huge difference. Nuances in the tone of voice, body language, all of these can reveal a more complete characterization of the other party and potentially eliminate confusion and offense. Texting, emails, and even phone conversations have erected a false barrier to entry and sometimes embolden one to say or write things that one may be unwilling to do in person. It is ironic this contractor attempted to soften his blow by adding the last faint praise that “Jake is a good property manager…” Perhaps he was attempting to leave a small door open to reconciliation? Was there a better path that could have been taken?
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Romans 14:19 (NKJV)
It is sobering to know that even in the first-century Church, when the Apostle Paul wrote the above cited verse, disagreements occurred. Many of these early Christians, including Paul, had actually seen the resurrected Jesus Christ. In spite of this assurance of God’s promise to them, they still bickered and needed reminding to seek the heavenly things above in Jesus Christ and not be mired by the earthly pursuits below. If I spent more of my time and energy seeking ways to build peace and edify others, all of my relationships would benefit. My model is Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus did when He was on this earth and this is what the glorified Christ in Heaven now does for all believers, interceding for everyone who calls upon His Name.
We should always be included in reconciliation because this is the eternal work of Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.