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If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. (Matthew 18:15)

While some of us respond to threats or emotional attacks by fighting, most of us are more prone to flee...the normal response to a threat for most of us is to distance, to disconnect, to grumble to ourselves or gossip to our friends, but we avoid confrontation for fear that it will turn into a bad scene... We tell ourselves that if we don't back down we'll do something in anger that we'll regret. So we do nothing instead. Face-to-face conversations become quick voicemails, phone calls turn into emails, and discussions over lunch become formal letters. After a while, because we are so afraid of the heat, thick walls of ice rise up around us, and while we may be able to see the subjects of our conflicts, we can't hear or touch them...

Stay connected. Keep contact. Close the distance with word and touch.

When someone writes me an angry email, I call them at home. When someone sends a formal letter of complaint, I invite them for coffee. When people start getting upset, I call a meeting and invite them to talk. The more heated the situation, the closer I want to get to it. Believe me, this is hard.

--Tod Bolsinger, "Canoeing the Mountains"

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Woodsfield Church of Christ - FaithStreet