Wouldn’t you agree that conflict is inevitable? I think so. If you interact with others, then I’m thinking you answered yes to my question.
Why can’t we all just get along?
Because we’re all different. Thank goodness we’re not all the same, but with all of our differences it’s to be expected that we’ll probably run into disagreements. How should you handle it when conflicts arise?
Before I share what I’ve learned about conflict resolution let me preface it with this. One of my goals is to keep it real on this blog. So, in doing that I must own up to past mistakes. This is an admission that I’ve handled conflict wrong in the past. I can think back to more examples than I’d like where I’ve been guilty of manipulating situations to my advantage, not admitting when I was wrong, and being self-centered and inconsiderate of others and their feelings.
Are you still with me?
I’d like to think as I‘m getting older that I might be getting a little wiser, too. As I study the Bible more I can find verses that help me remember that I’m a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to forget the things of the past and press on (Philippians 3), and that I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). With this knowledge I have the power to do better. Even though I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned from them.
My natural reaction in conflict is to be defensive. Being defensive usually doesn’t help resolve conflict, and it usually makes the problem worse. I found some Bible verses that helped me better understand how I can resolve conflict in a Christ like manner. The theme is humility. Can you see how approaching a conflict with humility and humbleness will already change your heart toward the person and situation? Instead of being defensive and placing blame on the other person you can humble yourself and act in love and forgiveness.
Colossians 3: 12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Ephesians 4:1-2 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
This was just a little something extra that I came across when I was reading and thought it needed to be shared, too.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Next time you are confronted with conflict, think back to the verses above. Remember to apporach the situation with humilillty and love. I think you'll be happy with the results.