Secondly, my father used conflict as an opportunity to teach us about human nature. An unchristian act by a believer was always a platform for a good psychology lesson, with some homespun adages tossed in for free. My father expected people to be different because of their relationship with the Lord, but he wasn’t surprised when they weren’t. He was also careful not to label them as hypocrites because he knew none of us are exactly who we claim to be all of the time. To him, they were merely sinful human beings who sometimes forgot who they were and whom they served.
Our discussions at home about Christians who behaved badly were filled with insight and wisdom. We talked about how much easier it is to accept people’s idiosyncrasies when we know how far they have come. My father also explained basic psychology concepts such as “projection”, “rationalization,” “deflection” and “just plain stupid.” Alright, so maybe the last one isn’t in any psychology books, but sometimes there really is no other explanation for the way people act.
To be honest there are some behaviors that are impossible to explain, but if we understand people, we don’t blame Christ or His Bride for their mistakes. In fact, we learn to appreciate what the Lord is accomplishing in them, and appeal to them on the basis of His love and grace.