It seems inevitable that People Fight! Although fighting seems unavoidable in this life, removing offense changes contention into progression toward knowledge and wisdom. You’re not going to believe where I found the idea, …wait for iiiiiit, …yup, the scriptures. Lets dive in and get to work fixing People who Fight, to avoid People Fight, and generate People Progress.
This morning my wife and I had a People Fight. It was dumb, …but so are your fights, right? She asked me a question, but as soon as I responded with an answer, she was distracted. She asked again, and as soon as I responded again, she was distracted. So the next time she asked, I told her, go ask someone else. I was obviously irritated by her. She was offended at how I treated her. I know, …I know, …I told you it was stupid. But the lesson we learned was huuuuge! However, before it got better, it got worse.
She and I were both offended, and we began to ramp up the offense by: adding assumptions, justifying our actions, remembering old fight patterns from fights that happened decades ago, and things got ugly really fast. You can probably imagine the volume of our voices getting louder and louder. And when voices get louder, frustration clouds judgement, and contention smothers logic, ending in destruction. But, rather than allowing it to end there, my wife and I turned to strategy. And THAT made all the difference.
It came to the two of us almost all at once. Rather than going directly to who ought to apologize, we sought to take full accountability first instead. She looked at her actions and intentions, and laid them all out, unveiling all of her cards, and confessing her actions to me. I corresponded and laid out all of my cards by expressing my offense, and my responses, confessing them to her. Once all of the parts were identified, accountability was taken, but responsibility was yet ahead. Accountability allowed us to own our part in the disagreement, without stating who was right and who was wrong, and focusing instead only on what happened, both internally and externally.
As we were both accountable, it was far easier now to identify responsibility. We have all fought enough times to know that all parties involved in a fight, despite how big or small a part they play, …all parties have some responsibility. The accountability diffuses the emotion, and the responsibility produces forgiveness, and the power to progress, rather than condescend and contend. I was very pleased as we were both able to be taught this concept by the spirit, even while we were in the midst of a fight.
To make matters even better, my wife found this very concept in the scriptures. It became clear to me that the language God used in scriptures for accountability was confession. And what He used for responsibility was forgiveness.
“7. Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.
8. My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened.
9. Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
11 And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.
12. And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not, ye shall bring before the church, and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation.
13 And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your law giver—
The Lord was angry with a few men, because they would not confess their wrongs, or in other words be accountable, and thus they would not be forgiven. When they accepted their accountability by confessing their mistakes, only then were they forgiven. The passage continues with the example:
“15. Behold, I, the Lord, was angry with him who was my servant Ezra Booth, and also my servant Isaac Morley, for they kept not the law, neither the commandment;
16. They sought evil in their hearts, and I, the Lord, withheld my Spirit. They condemned for evil that thing in which there was no evil; nevertheless I have forgiven my servant Isaac Morley.
17. And also my servant Edward Partridge, behold, he hath sinned, and Satan seeketh to destroy his soul; but when these things are made known unto them, and they repent of the evil, they shall be forgiven.”
From the above scripture we learn that people inevitably sin, or make mistakes, but using this summary, we can get through it, and obtain further light and knowledge. Let me summarize: We must first be big enough to take accountability, and that is indicated by confession. Second: after a proper confession, forgiveness must take place, and all parties are responsible to forgive all men. Those who genuinely repent do so, by confessing and forsaking their sins, never to repeat them.
If the sin is repeated, however, the sin returns, and the process must start all over again. We can learn by obedience, or the alternative is that we will learn by sad experience. Failure to be accountable, leaves us in a trapped state of learning by sad experience: repeating the same mistakes, expecting different results, and left frustrated when we experience the same problems over and over again. Let’s repent, and not repeat.
Conclusion: No one will escape this life unblemished and without need for repentance. I have a personal testimony that as we work together on repentance, not only will we be free of sin, but we will be full of light, because of our difficult circumstances. All of it will become beneficial, and consecrated for our gain. There is only one way for us to be successful at this. We must dive in and get to work fixing People who Fight, to avoid People Fight, and generate People Progress instead.
If you have sinned, confess it, and forsake it, or never repeat it. Let’s remove the offensive and defensive mechanisms we have developed out of habit, and replace them with confession and forgiveness. It will result in our oneness, and our belonging to Zion. Let’s talk it out, so we can begin the healing process.