“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Dr. Marcus Warner speaks of four simple strategies to help us get started in learning to remain relational. He uses the acronym, CAKE.
Curiosity- “I’m curious…”
You can test whether your relational circuit is on or off by your curiosity level. You are interested in what is going on inside someone else and what would help them connect relationally. Opposite of sarcasm. “I’m curious why you’re such a putz.”
Appreciation- When you share appreciation you will see more good. When you criticize you will see more bad.
Kindness- Doing things that create joy in someone else. In the process, your joy grows, as well. Shared joy when you are glad to be with someone.
Kindness- Doing things that create joy in someone else. In the process your joy grows, as well. Shared joy when you are glad to be with someone.
Envelope Conversation- Start with the history of the importance of the relationship. Then discuss a problem you are having. Describe the problems in the most productive and least harmful way. Then, realize your hope that the relationship will be even stronger once the problem is solved.
Recognize your own anger, especially anger in search of a story. Anger looking for a story gets amplified.
Anger is not voluntary. It is part of the fast track of our brain. This is why we develop habits which make it possible for us to be relationally angry or we can work around it in a healthy way.
One work-around Dallas Willard highlighted is to become the kind of person who did not get angry. He would say, “There is nothing you can do out of anger that you can’t do better without it.”
And if you do experience anger, how do you know you are dealing with it in a relational way God advocates? You will know you have dealt with anger God’s way when there is no collateral damage.
When is the last time you saw anyone in the media and entertainment industry handle anger in a godly relational way? Could this be a trick question?