When you watch a show or movie and the character has a secret, do you find yourself saying, “If they had just been honest from the beginning, everything would have worked out differently.”? (Maybe even better, though it would make a completely different final product).
My parents often quote a line from a Woody Woodpecker episode, “If Woody had gone right to the police, this would never have happened.” This is usually in response to something on the television, like my first example, though sometimes it’s in a “what could you do differently next time for a better result” kind of meaning.
As we read through the events of Genesis, we see many examples of deception, manipulation, and trickery. We see people causing intentional strife, people attempting to avoid conflict, and people caught in the middle. What can we learn from this?
- Miscommunication IS NOT cleared up by ceasing communication (whether by running away or avoiding contact).
- Avoidance is NOT the same as setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries allow you to communicate but also have an exit strategy in unhealthy situations (manipulation, abuse, false accusation, or those who want to create conflict). The path of “least resistance” may also be the more difficult path.
- We are called to make every effort, as far as what we can control, to live at peace with all people. This is not the same as liking everyone or agreeing with everyone. Living peaceably simply means not intentionally causing or fueling the fires of strife and conflict.
God can and does work all things together for good, in spite of all the ways His creation works against His good. Walking in agreement with God, submitting to His plan and purpose often seems against our “natural” reaction. Consider how you can improve your communication, beginning with an honest prayer and self-examination. Before you can heal your relationships with others, start by asking the Healer to help you overcome your own hurts, habits, and hang-ups.