Conflicts are usually hard, can be scary and can be painful. Conflicts don’t have to be like this. They can be good things. In this special message, we look at the seven parts of a conflict and how everyone can win in the end.
1. Conflicts are inevitable.
Human beings can’t cohabitate without having conflicts.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5
All conflict starts with “lovers of self”.
We are all different. Different personalities, experiences, perspectives, cultures, etc.
2. Conflicts are opportunities.
They are opportunities to grow closer or further apart. It a depends on one thing: YOUR GOAL.
If your goal is to win, you’ve already lost!
If we’re in it to win it then we’re not really listening, we’re reloading. We’re getting ready to say what we’re trying to get out and not even paying attention to the other person; wWe interrupt.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
The closer the relationship the easier it is to hurt the other person.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Our goal in conflicts should be to understand.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Even if you disagree at the end you can still resolve the conflict.
Homeostasis is unhealthy. Staying the same is not healthy. That inhibits the opportunities for growth. However, there needs to be agreement on CORE VALUES.
3. Conflicts should not be avoided.
Leaving it alone will only make it worse.
Allowing hurt to stay unresolved doesn’t do you any good and them any good.
There is a big difference between Grace and Cl-Dependance.
Conflict avoiders are selfish. They aren’t dealing with the problems and are allowing it to continue.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
4. Conflicts should not be sought out.
Some people are looking for a conflict. Some people are simply too sensitive and too easily offended.
“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. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Is the conflict/slight critical to the relationship? If I don’t deal with it will it be detrimental to the relationship?
5. Conflicts require apologies.
What makes an apology an apology.
- I’m sorry if you were offended …
- I’m sorry, but …
The right way:
- Name your off nose specifically
- Acknowledge the hurt you caused
- Say you are sorry
- Ask for forgiveness
6. Conflicts require forgiveness.
This can be one of the hardest steps.
We often say it, but don’t really do it.
What is forgiveness? It’s laying down you right to any justice in the matter. It doesn’t mean there is no consequences or pain.
Forgiveness is often a process, not a one-time thing.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Forgiveness does not require an apology. Forgiveness releases them and frees us. Most times the person who is unforgiving is burdened the most.
What forgiveness is not:
- Saying it doesn’t matter
- Pretending it didn’t happen
- Letting them off the hook. There are still consequences.
- Allowing the action to continue. That’s enabling not forgiveness.
- Is not necessarily reconciling. The relationship may be toxic and unhealthy.
7. Conflicts can be beneficial.
Conflicts can bring people closer. The relationship can be strengthened.
Conflicts can lead to better understanding.
Conflicts can lead to better working relationships.
Conflicts can lead to personal growth.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Learn to forgive.
Learn to understand.
Learn greater empathy.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”