Connecting Skills - 4. The Art of Authenticity
Connecting Skills - 6. The Art of Loving Confrontation

Connecting Skills - 5. The Art of Forgiveness

Forgive Jesus made a choice to forgive those who nailed him to that cross – even though they never asked for it. That's amazing, yet forgiveness is such an important keep in connecting with other people.

Many of the people we connect with will be different than us. Yet, often these kinds of relationships provide the opportunity for us to grow and develop the most. They draw us out of our comfort zones and stretch our loving capacity.

There is no greater challenge in building community than to master the art of handling anger and conflict. We all know what it is to have other people annoy and irritate us, as well as hurt us deeply.

Jesus gives us some practical steps for resolving conflict (see Matthew 18:15f). This is one of the most well-known teachings of Jesus but probably the most disobeyed. He tells us to go the person who has offended us and do our best to sort it out with them alone. If it doesn't work out, then we should involve someone else who can help. Jesus wants us to be serious about forgiveness.

When you've offended someone, be quick to apologise and ask for forgiveness. That's a mark of maturity.

Of course, forgiveness is not the same things as reconciliation, which may or may not happen, depending on the situation.

Forgiveness is giving up the right to hurt back or get even. Eventually, you can even find yourself wishing the other person well.

[Part 6]


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