Conflict

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things;  do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

Conflict!!!!!!!!!   No one likes it yet it seems some like it a bit too much.  Whether you’re on the receiving end or the giving end, it’s just plain uncomfortable.  So the solution is………….just ignore it!  It will go away!!!!!!   I’m here to tell you, generally it don’t!  We hold it in, stuffing it, just as long as we can until our lid pops off.  And then the mole hill has somehow become a mountain.  Or we don’t confront out of fear yet we tell everyone around us, instead of the person we need to be telling, and then that conflict soon becomes an out right war.  

These 2 examples of not confronting are exactly what Satan wants.  To cause more harm and prevent the good.  But this is not how God wants us to deal with conflict.

Matthew 5:9 (MSG)

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

Ephesians 4:29  (MSG)

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

He wants us to deal with it out of reverence for Him and out of love for others.

There are 7 simple steps we can take to make the “conflict” easier…..

  1. Take Time Out– Take a deep breathe, maybe even 24 hours before reacting to the situation.  Pray about it. Talk to God out loud.  Sometimes saying it out loud defuses the situation and makes us see it clearer.
  2. Validate the Other – Think of something good about the other person.  We all have something good about us.  Remember we could be the one on the receiving end of the deal and we’d want the other to look at our good side.
  3. Use “I” Statements –  Keep your focus on how you feel about the situation and don’t make it about the other person.  Expressing how something affected you  is way more impactful to the other than wanting to point fingers and make accusations.
  4. Use Reflective Listening – Listen intently and repeat back to them what they just said to  you to make sure you understand it.  And ask them to do the same.  Sometimes our minds already have it made up before we even hear what the other says, so taking the time to reflect makes it clearer.
  5. Brainstorm – Take some time together to come up with solutions that everyone can agree on.  This has to be a joint effort .
  6. Impasse – Some times we simply will not be able to agree.  Regretfully this happens! So if it happens to you, handle it with gentleness, patience and respect.  Remember we love the sinner not the sin.  Matthew 5:43-47 (click to read).
  7. Reconciliation and Restoration : That is God’s goal and should be ours too. 2 Cor 5:18 (click to read)

So the next time we find ourselves in a “conflict”, face it!  Hit it head on and work towards Reconciliation and Restoration.  Through that process we will find our place in God’s Family.

Lord, thank you for providing me with a guide for loving others.  Please help me to have a heart for reconciliation and remove my eyes from myself onto the other.  Be with my family and friends Lord.  So much hate and anger in this world!  We all need You Lord to provide direction.  Amen!

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