“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way.”
~Matthew 5:25a (NIV).
We hear stories on the News on occasion where jewel heists and art theft have taken place. A recent episode in France includes no less than five priceless paintings swiped by a single bandit, obviously supported by an intricate web of support.
Time is of the Essence
The key to recovering these artworks is covering as much ground as possible in the first day or two after the event. The longer time goes on, the colder the trail leading to the lost art will go.
In my day work I’ve conducted many incident investigations, and trying to piece together the historical truth of what actually occurred is made much easier and simpler hours after the event than it is days and weeks after when poor memory retention—and hence reliability of fact—is a key issue.
The abovementioned verse from the Sermon on the Mount was mentioned in the context of recovering anger with humility, but there is another application.
When things are getting out of control, we need to get to work to quickly resolve it. Sure, the horse may’ve bolted but we might still catch it at the ravine as it sips its water, thinking all’s safe and recapture an improbability.
This also has a specific application in our relationships.
Acting/Reacting ‘Now’ on Relationship Problems
Damage control is important in all our lives.
Whether we’re recovering lost art works or relationships we require wisdom and diligence. The former will involve investigating for fact. The latter requires vision, humility and courage to foresee and act upon the darker times ahead i.e. to prevent them by acting now.
The longer we leave problems the more the other party (or parties) are left to wonder why, and for us, escaping the ensuing innuendo is then much harder. Delay is often not good.
Beyond the time needed for both people to check their emotions, a more immediate response to recover problems proves we’re serious and care about the matters at hand.
Reconnaissance Often Reveals a Bigger ‘Fix’ is Required
Big problems generally feature unusually big fixes.
This suggests an immediate ‘reconnaissance’ mission will normally reveal some level of surprise as to what is actually required to get things back on track. We might think the other person is taking things too far.
As far as our relationships are concerned we’re loath to underestimate the magnitude of our problems. We’re far better off to take them more seriously and then lighten up when the other person who’s aggrieved at us assures us of this.
We should always deal quickly with our problems; not letting them fester beyond control or recovery.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.