I find myself in a constant struggle between how I should act with people and how I do act with people.
I am no different than so many other people: I tend to like and react well to those who like me, and tend to dislike and not react well to those who dislike me. Further, I often find myself in conversations about those with whom I have difficult relations - the "banding together against a common foe."
But in the big picture is that good? Is that Christlike?
There often seems to be a fine line between disagreement and dislike, especially in the employment environment. I can - and often do - disagree profoundly with managers and coworkers, yet it often does not achieve the level of a personal affront or indignity. We get up, we go on our way, and we do our jobs without rancor or distrust.
But other times it results in precisely all of those things: we disagree profoundly, we are affronted, and we leave in rancor or with anger - often not about the situation itself, but about how it was handled.
So what's a Christian to do?
How does one pursue the common calling all Christians while grappling with the extingencies of personal relations on a day to day basis?
The key - perhaps - is grace.
Grace realizes that God has dealt generously with me even though I did not deserve it. Grace realizes that most of the people I deal with on a daily basis are broken and sinful, even as I am broken and sinful. Grace realizes that a host of factors - youth, age, experience, inexperience - contribute to how individuals see others and the world around them. And grace realizes that what's important is not the here and now, not the one upsmanship of daily life, but rather than coming of eternity and where these people we laugh with, laugh at, argue with, amuse, and become angry at are going to be without Christ.
I am far from a master at this, but realization is the first step in dealing with a problem. I need to look through the problems created to see the individuals underneath.