The A, B, Cs of a Negative Approach to a Positive Response

Tom C Lacy cropped

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       This is a calculated approach that must have total commitment in order for it to succeed.

      Although the word calculate doesn’t appear in the KJV of the Bible the principle is taught plainly by Jesus as recorded in Luke 14:28:

      “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth (Greek:  psephizo:  generally, to compute) the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”

      Building relationships is not unlike building high-rise buildings in that both need a strong foundation in order to stand – especially during the storms of life.

      In our last lesson we learned God wants us to heal any breakdown in communication. Now we will learn an effective, God-guided, plan to do so.

The A, B, Cs of a Negative Approach To a Positive Response

A.    State the case with specifics relative to the issue in a non-accusatory manner. Example:  “I don’t know what it is I have done wr to cause this misunderstanding.

B.     Assume 100% of the responsibility for the breakdown in communication. Why?

      In an earlier lesson we learned:  There is always a certain amount of right and a creation amount of wrong on both sides of every issue.

      You may be 99% right and only 1% wrong or you may be 1% right and 99% wrong. In either case God wants you to give up 100% of your wrong regardless of the percentage you own.

      The foundation of this reasoning is based on Romans 3:10b that is more often than not stated incorrectly. The proper rendering is:  “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

      This verse is often misquoted as:  “There is none perfect, no, not one.”

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      Follow the mechanics of this teaching. It is impossible for a person to be either 100% right or 100% wrong 

      Misquoting the verse destroys the foundation of this verse. The Greek word righteous is dikalos:  (by implication innocent), right.

      So state the case by assuming 100% of your percentage of wrong no matter how minute it may be.

      C. Ask:  What can I do to make things right between us?

      Do not tell them what you think they need to do to make things right.

      Upon hearing this teaching some have said, “If I say that they will plow me under!”

      Biblically speaking there is protection for the one seeking to make things right by healing a relationship. Here it is.

      I will do whatever it takes to make this matter right as long as it is not illegal, immoral, unethical or un-biblical. Remember the lesson:  There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

      You can expect one of three responses;

      1. You are right; you are wrong. If your sincere effort is rebuffed drop the matter. You have followed biblical principles the other party does not entertain.

      2. You are not totally wrong. This response opens the door to discussion, mediation or counseling. Proceed carefully along the best path to reconciliation.

      3. You are not wrong; it is me. Of course, this is the response we want to hear, but don’t take advantage of the matter.

      Through discussion, mediation or counseling seek to determine why the matter got out of hand in the first place, and what steps can be taken so this doesn’t happen again.


      If you have done the best you can to resolve a matter, but the other party is unwilling to discuss it – know this. You do the best you can with what you have and the angels cannot do any better.

      Ask yourself these three question:

      1. Whose problem is it?

      After taking these steps you still do not know whose problem it is.

      2. Did I cause it?

      Without a response – positive or negative – you cannot determine where you stand in the matter.

      3. How can I help?

      Unless they allow you to you can’t help. Don’t force the issue. Leave it to prayer.  

Tom C Lacy croppedRev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

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