In medicine; code red means – someone is dying.
In military; code red means – at a high level of preparedness
Both are good descriptives.
Both imply urgency, importance, and a readiness to respond.
In any case, when a person is faced with a code red, they react.
For most of us, code reds won’t come in such dramatic settings as seen in medical or military scenarios. But come they will.
Let’s define a more casual (but just as deadly dangerous) code red.
Someone hurts us.
Someone insults us.
Someone misinterprets us.
Someone misrepresents us.
At those very personal code red intersections of life, we have mere seconds to respond.
Do we in the heat of the exchange choose to let loose more hurt, insults, adding to the misinterpretations and misrepresentations?
Or do we as someone once said to me, remember that in every situation…
There’s your side.
There’s my side.
Then, there’s the truth.
Three sides to every code red situation (relationally speaking) and probably just as many life-saving alternatives to them.
I want to choose the most truthful one, the most helpful one, the one that heals rather than harms. But the hard truth is, my first response to a personal code red injury is not, “Oh, thank you so very much for demonizing, demeaning, and disrespecting me…” Rather, I have to fight the impulse to respond with fighting words that just make a bad situation worse. Even more broken than before.
I like Roy Hession’s thoughts on setting aside our grievances in a better way.
We must be willing to put things right with others – sometimes even with children. This is, so often, the test of our brokenness. Brokenness is the opposite of hardness. Hardness says, “It’s your fault!” Brokenness, however, says, “It’s my fault”.