"Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up-building."1
"I know what makes him tick, and I know what ticks him off!" These were the words of a speaker I heard when talking about her relationship with her husband—with whom, by the way, she had a very good relationship.
Clever lady. Smart wife!
For couples, and friends for that matter, to relate well to each other—and to build each other up—each needs to know how the other ticks; that is, understand each other. First though, we need to know and understand ourselves . . . and know what ticks us off and why we get ticked off (get angry)!
There are some things we ought to get angry about, such as at anything that is harmful to others. But oftentimes we get angry—and overreact—not because of what the other person has done, but because of who we are. In other words, when I have a lot of unresolved hurt and anger from the past, it can get triggered by the slightest incident and I overreact!
What the other person does may or may not be a problem, but my hurt and my anger are always my responsibility. And to the degree that I overreact, that is always my problem!
So we need to know not only what ticks us and each other off, but also why we get ticked off . . . and what we need to do about it if we are to have fulfilling and meaningful relationships.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know, understand and accept myself, so I will be much more understanding and accepting of others. And help me to face and resolve my character issues and be a peacemaker and not a troublemaker. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 14:19 (RSV) (NIV).