Is there one person you dread running into at the grocery store? That awkward encounter that takes your heart to anaerobic levels? A broken relationship that’s unresolved with no signs of untangling? Even worse, are you related to them?
How do you live with unresolved tension?
I met a buddy this week who asked me that exact question. He’s upside down with a brother-in-law at no fault of his own. The guy just doesn’t like him. Never has. (Something about stealing his little sister).
But as my friend has continually tried to humbly and Biblically step into the difficult dialog, things have gone from bad to worse. Rescheduled conversations have turned into avoided conversations. What do you do when the other party finds it less painful to live in the unresolved awkwardness?
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” –Romans 12:18
There are a couple of things I’m no longer interested in. The first is paying $17.99 for a new CD, but a close second is fake conflict resolution. I don’t think we honor God when we slap on a faux smile, bluff a few “I’m sorry’s,” and dodge the difficult issues.
Tension is inevitable. And sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes we’re too quick to seek a resolution to the very tool God may be using to bring about real change. Real repentance.
I’m not talking about stubbornly holding a grudge.
I’m not talking about refusing to forgive.
I’m talking about what to do when you’ve willingly stepped into the tension and the other person just isn’t interested in joining you there. Sometimes we have to learn to pray there. To wait there. To live there.
What do you think? How do you live with unresolved tension? As much as it is in your power, are you living at peace with all men?