I’ve had the opportunity to attend many mediations as part of a process called generally Alternative Dispute Resolution. This is a concept for settling disagreements that have ended up in lawsuits. The two parties meet with a neutral third-party and attempt to reach a resolution to their disagreement. The benefit is that it eliminates the uncertainty and, theoretically, creates a win-win. The detriment is that neither side gets all of what they wanted and, most of the time, each side feels like they gave up more than they should.
After the first few mediations I attended, initially as an insurance company representative and then as a plaintiff’s attorney later in my career, I realized that there was more at play than dollars and sense. There was/is a dynamic of human interaction that goes with the facts and the law. Each side had more at stake than money.
The number one force at play other than money, without a doubt, was ego. I don’t recall a single one of these meetings where there wasn’t someone’s ego blatantly on display an other egos hiding in the shadows. Maybe most surprisingly, the mediator’s ego was more often than not in play, as well.
Everybody wants to look good. The looking good and associated posturing is the most detrimental component of disagreement preventing agreement. If one or more parties would yield their pride, resolution was almost certain and it was usually certain sooner rather than later.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” in John 15:13.
If we will just put our desperate grabs for position down, then the greatest Love of all can flow through us. When we will put our pride away and allow His love to flow through our humility, the relationships in our lives will be great.