I was reading an article online recently written by Dr. Jackie Black (from AskDrJackie.com) that pertained to resolving issues--specifically, problems between you and a loved one. There were three main points. Allow me to share her thoughts for your consideration, and as I read these, reflect upon whether or not you agree with her perspective:
(1) Giving Up and Giving In
Giving up and giving in are completely unacceptable ways of resolving issues, handling disagreements, or solving problems. Giving up and giving in are signs that you feel powerless and undeserving. Anger and resentment are sure to follow. Nothing good ever comes from giving up or giving in!
Settling is a behavior of the injured, younger part of yourself. It is that part of you which lacks belief and trust that you are loveable and that you deserve what you need and want. Settling is often the result of you not recognizing that your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, needs and wants are legitimate. When you do not honor your right to have your needs and regard them as legitimate, be aware, you will more than likely settle.
(3) Compromising and Negotiating
Compromising and negotiating are behaviors of your integrated adult. It is that part of you that is emotionally mature and emotionally literate. Your integrated adult is wise, rational and loving and you can trust your decisions, communications and behaviors when they are sourced from that part of you. The art of compromising and negotiating requires that two or more people combine the qualities or elements of different things and reach consent by mutual agreement. Compromising and negotiating often mean an accommodation in which both sides make concessions. Compromise is often a middle way between two extremes. Negotiation is often a discussion in which each person decides what and how much to concede or accommodate and mutually agree to the outcome. Compromising and negotiating can only occur when you honor and respect your thoughts, attitudes, values, beliefs, needs and wants, hopes and dreams and deem them legitimate; are able and willing to ask for what you need and want; and are able and willing to receive what you have asked for.
The writer goes on to say that mature adults should not give up or give in or settle; they should negotiate or compromise if they can't get their way!
Well, does that sound like good advice? It probably does to many. However, in my view the article is little more than the wisdom of this world. Let's read what James, an inspired writer wrote on that subject in James 3:13-18:
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
The wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God are eons apart, aren't they? The world says: "Don't give up, don't give in, and don't settle. Fight for what you want! Negotiate and compromise where you must but don't yield unnecessarily." God says:"Don't be selfishly ambitious; be gentle, peaceable, full of mercy, and willing to yield to others." The contrast is clear, is it not?
A problem that I see which has been around for a very long time is that humans become so accustomed to negotiating compromises with each other that they also expect to do the same with God. And that is a problem! The more self-centered we become, the less submissive we are. Our humanistic culture emphasizes putting self first, and that man is basically his own god. Therefore, it is not surprising that many feel that they can even bargain with the only true and living God. It will always be the case that the more self-seeking we are, the harder it will be to become God-centered and submissive.
We will continue this study in our next lesson.