Try to understand others

Romans 7:18-25
I know of nothing good living in me – living, that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me. In fact, this seems to be the rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Psalm 118 Teach me your laws, O Lord.

Luke 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times? ‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

In the example Jesus gives to his question, “How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?” he refers to for example: “when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way”.  It seems to me that he not talking about interpreting the signs of the times, but rather understanding the thought and behaviour of human beings.  Why do we do the things we do and what is the best way to work with others in which to get win-win outcomes for all parties.  Why go to court into an adversarial and contentious opportunity when solutions could be found through dialogue.  Why go to war when other solutions are possible.  All wars end in dialogue anyway in order to sort out to spoils or come to a negotiated peace-agreement.  So why not save all the death and destruction and dialogue first.  In our own lives when we have disagreements it is far better to understand the other and find out what the emotional dynamics are, than letting our unspiritual selves bring about what is sinful by fighting each other, or being resentful, or seeking vengeance.

Nell’esempio che Gesù dà alla sua domanda: “Come mai non sapete interpretare questi tempi?”, si riferisce ad esempio a: “quando vai in tribunale con il tuo avversario, cerca di accordarti con lui lungo la strada”.  Mi sembra che non stia parlando di interpretare i segni dei tempi, ma piuttosto di capire il pensiero e il comportamento degli esseri umani.  Perché facciamo le cose che facciamo e qual è il modo migliore di lavorare con gli altri per ottenere risultati vantaggiosi per tutte le parti.  Perché andare in tribunale in un’occasione conflittuale e conflittuale quando le soluzioni potrebbero essere trovate attraverso il dialogo.  Perché andare in guerra quando sono possibili altre soluzioni.  Tutte le guerre finiscono comunque con il dialogo per spartirsi il bottino o per giungere a un accordo di pace negoziato.  Quindi, perché non risparmiare tutte le morti e le distruzioni e dialogare prima?  Nella nostra vita, quando abbiamo dei disaccordi, è molto meglio capire l’altro e scoprire quali sono le dinamiche emotive, piuttosto che lasciare che il nostro io non spirituale produca ciò che è peccaminoso combattendo l’altro, o essendo risentito, o cercando vendetta.