Let’s start with this basic understanding: God is all about love, and love happens through relationships. So the best way we can live our faith is by loving those around us.
In theory, that sounds great. In reality though, we all have relationships that at times are dominated by feelings of resentment, bitterness, frustration, anger or impatience. If one of your relationships – perhaps with your spouse, child, parent, boyfriend/girlfriend, coworker – is suffering from this lack of love (and I don’t mean that you don’t love this person, it’s just that the interactions are not exactly loving), can you heal that relationship, even without any effort put forth by the other person?
Of course there is no guarantee. But if you make the decision to only bring acts of generosity, kindness, understanding and forgiveness to the relationship, and -- this is key -- expect nothing in return, you may be able to kick-start the relationship out of it’s negative holding pattern.
The key is to commit yourself to this new approach over an extended period of time with no expectation of reciprocation. If you do this, there is a good chance you can sort of “shock the system” and trigger a new relationship pattern to emerge.
It’s not about conceding your ground, or convincing someone of something. It’s just about making the decision that every interaction on your part will be made out of love with no return expectations.
If you do this, there is a good chance your actions will pull the relationship to a higher level. At a minimum, you will pull yourself to a higher level. That outcome alone is probably well worth the effort.