MTL Christmas - Page 86

“Honestly, it was just this moment for me when God said, ‘You need to pray for this person.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I don’t want to. I won’t do it. I don’t feel like it.’” But despite her protests, Jen started to pray for that person. At first, the prayers weren’t even kind. Then, something happened. “As I continued that process every day, just out of sheer obedience, no will at all, something in me started to tenderize. And I really began to understand some spiritual things about this person that I did not before. I began to see some wounds that this person was experiencing in a different light. And it didn’t change our relationship. It didn’t make that person sorry. It didn’t even make our relationship healthy. It just set me free. I wasn’t chained to those feelings anymore. “So as some of you are heading into a nerve-racking season of get-togethers with somebody who is hard for you, I wonder if you could start a practice, just a few weeks before, of praying a really basic prayer for that person—for their health or wellbeing or soul. Because it’s funny, when we’re praying for someone else, we end up being changed.” When we’re praying for someone else, we end up being changed Now, let’s say the day of the get-together has arrived. Should you try to resolve the issues? Avoid the other person? Or just get through? “I think it depends,” Jen says. “There’s not a formula that’s going to fit every scenario and always work. I would say, in general, the holiday gathering is not the best time or place to air your grievance.” Keep in mind the whole group setting. You don’t want to be ‘that guy’ who ruins Christmas for everyone else. If the other person is the type who is ready for a fight, it may be best to avoid them. “Do your best to be pleasant on that day,” Jen continues. “I’m not saying keep up that approach forever. But for the day, everyone can keep the wheels on with enough graciousness. If nothing else, just go in the backyard.” Dealing with difficult people can be…well, difficult. Don’t get discouraged if your best intentions fail. Like Jen said, with relationships, there is no guaranteed one-sizefits-all plan to success. But one of the best ways to avoid an awkward holiday gathering is to resolve an issue before it gets that far. “I’m all for resolution,” Jen says. “As a relational person, 86 MTL Magazine / IF IT IS POSSIBLE, AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, LIVE AT PEACE WITH EVERYONE ROMANS 12:18