As I look at the relationships that I value there are several common themes. Top at the list is the fact that our dialogue freely flows, on any subject, regardless of being positive or negative. Even when the person is a colleague on the steep part of the learning curve, our dialogue continues to be two-way. Each takes time to affirm the good things, and confront the tough subjects on a regular basis. One will always take the initiative to bring a potential conflict out into the open, acknowledge the mistake, and press for a resolution in which both parties can take away a learning experience.
In the course of these relationships, I have learned to enjoy getting real opinions, good and bad. I am not at the stage where I can say that I find learning about my weaknesses and failings fun; however, I will still seek honest and open communication. In my experience, unless this type of exchange is present the relationship remains as a parent with a child.
From my perspective, “there has never been any question about your honesty.” (Romans 16.19) You call things for what they are, you do not whitewash mistakes, and you are willing to acknowledge when you have taken a decision that did not work out. The challenge I see is in how willing you are to articulate where you are frustrated or angry with the decisions and choices others have taken that impact your life. To often you mask your viewpoint through other expressions.
For both of us, this is especially true when it comes to our God conversation. When was the last time that you were frustrated with people who lied and cheated, especially when it came to something to do with you, and still got ahead? For me this was as recent as last Thursday! Whom did you confront with your feelings on the subject? Surely, it was not God. Well, if not God then who?
God is all about relationship. Open, honest, blunt dialogue is our beginning. Warning – God will do the same!