Monday, January 31, 2011

Amends - Mountainside Chats

A college student, I will call her “Jill,” once complained to me about her ridiculous roommate (I will call her “Jane”). Jill said that she could not stand to be around Jane. When I asked why, she had many many reasons. Jill also said they were once good friends and had chosen to live together. 
It seemed like it started out as something simple, like Jane not washing her dishes. When Jill noticed the unwashed dishes, she did not ask Jane about them, but it made her angry. As a result of this anger, Jill started to notice every small thing that Jane did, while continuing to not actually mention it to her. After a while, Jane was shocked when Jill exploded in seemingly irrational anger over something relatively small. The ensuing argument led to even more anger, which finally led them to no longer be friends or roommates.
I think that Jill’s friends were supporting Jill’s decision to move out. They heard the story of Jane’s seemingly inconsiderate behaviors and also began to think ill of Jane. In the end, it seems that Jane fairly severe consequences of losing several friends simply because she made one small oversight that anyone could have made. It was like Jill’s small resentment multiplied over and over again into big consequences. 
I would imagine you have heard this story before. Personally, I have seen many times how seemingly small actions and accompanying resentment can ruin relationships. In Matthew 5: 23 - 26, Jesus communicated the importance of relationship reconciliation. It may sound harsh, but he compared anger with murder. Jesus even advocated his followers’ procrastinating on their religious duties so that they may confront resentment and produce reconciliation with one another. Finally, Jesus told them to do it quickly, seeking one another’s forgiveness before involving others.
So who do you hold out resentment towards? How could you be harming that person? I think we all need to take a sober inventory of the anger in our lives as well as the sources of it. Jesus has called us to make amends.

No comments:

Post a Comment