How to turn an argument into cooperation

In that last argument you had with your beloved, was your behavior — the way you handled it — justifiable? Of course it was! In your own understanding, and because of your own needs and desires, you can justify it clearly. 

Justice and peaceHowever, I doubt that this is what you really want. It’s not what your beloved wants, either. You both want cooperation. So, the better question is: By holding my ground on it, am I helping? Is the way I handled the argument making a beneficial difference? Are we making any progress toward cooperation and unity?

Justice belongs to the Lord. He is the one who justifies us. In him, “justice and peace shall kiss”. When we go humbly before the Lord and acknowledge our weaknesses, mistakes, and the sin of wanting to be the winner in the argument (pride), we can find the peace we long for. After that, it’s easier to find (with the help of the Holy Spirit) the path of healing that will restore unity and strengthen the relationship. 

The path of healing includes the Holy Spirit serving as our Advocate. It includes Jesus and his justice, which he abundantly showers on us as he lifts us up. We don’t need to fight for justice; he will do it for us. We don’t need to fight to win; Jesus holds the victory in his hands. Focus on Jesus instead of wishing that your beloved could be as perfect as Jesus.

Our sweetheart probably needs to repent from pride, too. We can help that process along by backing off from the argument that keeps feeding the innate desire to justify one’s own self. Justification isn’t the goal. It’s love that matters. Love will rebuild unity. In the peace that comes from unity, we will find new ways to solve the problem that triggered the argument. And that’s how we achieve cooperation.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How misunderstood do I still feel after the last disagreement I had with my beloved?
  2. Jesus understands me perfectly. What does he think about my needs and desires? How do I feel reflecting on that?

Strengthen your relationship:
Describe to each other what cooperation feels like. Why is it important to you? How does cooperation feel? After listening to the other’s feelings about it, share why the other’s feelings are important. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to renew you and fill you both with the spirit of cooperation. Lastly, identify one piece of common ground you had in the last argument (or any unresolved disagreement). What can you do to build on that?

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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