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Chaplain's Corner

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Cut me some slack!

14 Nov 2022 | Lt. Cmdr. Glen Kitzman Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

If you have ever been in a relationship, you know full well that there will be conflict. In fact, conflict is often where greater empathy and understanding meet. We learn about one another through conflict. In contrast, what happens when conflict turns to anger, anger into hurt feelings, and hurt feelings into resentment? Left alone, resentment can erode the best of relationships and can cause long-term damage.  Have you ever made a list of things about your partner that you wish you could change? A wise parable tells us to keep no record of wrong… and I tend to agree.    

A couple went for marriage counseling. Both the man and the woman carried a list with them. The man had taken a sheet of paper, drawn a line down the middle and proceeded to write all the good things about his wife down one side of the sheet and all of the bad things down the other side. The woman had done the same thing. They pointed out to the counselor that they just couldn’t stay married because of the lists they had compiled. Both the man and the woman had a much longer list of negatives than positives for their spouse. Having tried everything from vacations to marriage retreats, the couple had come to this counselor as the last resort before going to get a divorce.

The counselor glanced over the lists noting some serious things and some not-so-serious things. To their shock, he tore them up right in front of them, pulled over his trash can and threw in the lists. The man exclaimed, “What are you doing? Don’t you know how long it took us to make those lists?” The counselor explained that the couple’s lists were useless because they examined the couple’s problem from the wrong end. “You are pursuing a rule book when you should be pursuing a relationship.” Your life was meant to be lived by relationship, not by rules. In the words of renowned author, Rick Warren, he says, “Lasting love extends grace. No relationship will make it without grace. The Bible tells us that this is part of love. You’re not going to have a relationship unless you have forgiveness, mercy, patience, acceptance, grace. You’ve got to cut people some slack.”     

As we move into this holiday season as 2022 winds down, maybe there are people in your life, like mine, who need a little ‘slack.’ Thanks for reading!

The Chaplain’s Corner covers everything faith related. Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.