Nowadays, we are encouraged to stand firm for our beliefs, to assert our rights and to claim our due. Yet recognizing our wrongs is a much more rewarding attitude.
In a conflict, it is very rare that only one of the two parties is in the wrong. Generally, both sides of the conflict are at fault. The first step towards resolving the conflict is therefore that each of the parties recognizes their wrongs and repent. When both parties humble themselves, they are able to stand on the same level, and then they can build together, or to repair what has been broken. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).
When we recognize our wrongs, we display an attitude of humility, we stomp on our pride. And this is an attitude that is highly valued by our Heavenly Father. “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV). Remember that it was the sin of pride that drove Lucifer out of heaven. Therefore, pride is an attitude that must be avoided.
What the world considers a weakness is a strength in the eyes of Christ. “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them” (Luke 6:29 NIV). If Jesus asks us to not claim our due when we are persecuted and innocent, this principle applies even more, when we are at fault ourselves!
God asks us to be agents of peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV). If we make a mistake, let’s not be stubborn and try to make our point. Because if we do, we can not bring peace to our relationships. Let’s face it as the verse says, that does not make us feel blessed either.
Not admitting our mistakes often leads us into a spiral of lies and violence. This is what the example of David and Bathsheba teaches us in 2 Samuel 11. David did wrong in committing adultery with Bathsheba. Instead of admitting his misconduct, he hid it with lies and even murder! Hiding our mistakes behind a lie is certainly not worthy of a child of God, and it does not help to reestablish a relationship.
When we make the decision to always ask for forgiveness when we do wrong, we become more alert, meaning we pay more attention to our actions. Because we know we have to humble ourselves, we act with more wisdom and less impulsiveness.
Finally, when we acknowledge our wrongs, it puts us in a position to learn from our mistakes. If we accuse the other person to conceal our fault, we ignore the lesson that comes with that fault. Not recognizing our wrongs prevents us from growing, becoming mature and wise.
Everyone is responsible for their own growth. So, if the other person does not accept their wrongs, you can tell them, but it’s not always a good idea. Or if you do mention it, do it after you have humbled yourself, by admitting your own mistakes and wait until the tension is lower. Then if the other person refuses to acknowledge their wrongs… oh well! As for you, do not miss the opportunity to develop your humility and learn from your mistakes.
In the extremely rare case where you have not done anything wrong yourself, continue to look for a way to learn from this conflict, a lesson to make yourself even wiser. Develop this skill while you are still single because it will be something you will often practice once in a relationship!
“So always tell each other the wrong things you have done. Then pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. Anyone who lives the way God wants can pray, and great things will happen” (James 5:16 ERV).