“Make sure you see what you are looking at.”

This was a recommendation handed out to all drivers at Federal Express one morning. The new safety division had decided that this bit of advice would help us avoid an accident. The common thought among all the drivers, though, was that we were paying somebody a lot of money for coming up with silly slogans.

Yet I couldn’t get this thought out of my mind that day. And for the next few days, I realized how many times I didn’t see something that was right in front of my nose. How could I have missed it? I could have had an accident and would have wondered how it could have happened. It was because I did not see what I was looking at.

I wonder how many times this happens with our relationships. Is it possible that most of our conflicts happen when we fail to “see” where the other person is coming from? Can problems be caused by our failure to “see” things from the other person’s point of view? Could it be that many times we refuse someone else’s interpretation of things?

A major ingredient in all healthy relationships is understanding. Being willing to “see” things from the other person’s point of view. Paul says it this way: “Therefore, as God ’s chosen people…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Colossians 3:12-13).

Relationships are too important to our well-being to risk losing any of them. And the way to build and maintain them is to be willing to see the things you are looking at, maybe from another person’s point of view.

Just as understanding God will build your relationship with Him, understanding those around you will do the same for those relationships.

Doug Allen
via Lifelines
Roseville (MI) Church of Christ
Bulletin Digest (April 2003)

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