“They Did What?!?” Simple Steps to Making Peace with People Who Hurt Us

“They Did What?!?” Simple Steps to Making Peace with People Who Hurt Us August 10, 2016

My latest for OSVNewsweekly

Image via shutterstock. Used with permission
Image via shutterstock. Used with permission

Life is filled with people who frustrate, irritate and otherwise infuriate us. Whether it comes to managing conflict in our own households or facing political battles and culture wars, there seems to be no end to the ways other people can inflame us.

And yet, in the face of all this discord, we’re reminded of Jesus’ words: “Blessed are the peacemakers’” (Mt 5:9). Pope Francis has asserted that practicing this beatitude is the “identity card of a Christian.” Refusing to add fuel to the metaphorical fires burning in our world is a hallmark of the call to follow Christ.

Even so, it can be hard to know where to start. I like to remind my clients that the key to authentic peacemaking is practicing the art of charitable interpretation. The art of charitable interpretation is not the same as excusing another’s bad behavior, and it involves much more than simply “assuming the best” about another person.  READ THE REST

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