I’m amazed at how much conflict you can have as an adult. I always figured that once you got out of high school all of that fighting and arguing would take a hike as you blossomed into being an adult. Teenagers are fueled by immature behavior and wild hormones, so it makes some sense that they would act this way. But adults, they’ve learned self-control.
That definitely wasn’t the case, at least not for me.
Adults aren’t immune to conflict.
Maybe you’re as disappointed about this as I.
What is the reason?
The Bible tells us that only by pride cometh contentions (Prov. 10:13).
Once again, pride is the culprit.
Pastor Reg Kelly reminds us that those within our family and church family are likely to be those who hurt us the most. I hate that but it’s very true. It’s those who we have the most contact with that cause the most of our pain. And conflict isn’t confined to just the high school years.
We won’t be immune to conflict this side of heaven because we are all sinners in a sin-cursed world who care about themselves first and foremost.
Since we are going to have conflicts with those in our life, we are going to need to learn how to resolve them biblically.
Here are some great tips for resolving conflict after you’ve been the hurt:
1. Pray. Yes, start with prayer. Ask the Lord to help you forget and forgive without needing to go to the person. If you can’t move past the conflict, pray that you will have a spirit of humility and meekness when you do go that person.
2. Search the Scriptures. Find verses that relate to the offense and learn how to deal with it. Read the passage in Matthew that teaches you to biblically confront someone who’s offended you.
3. Go to that person. In most cases going alone is the best thing. Stay calm and keep a level head. The more humble you are the better the outcome will be. If you don’t believe things will stay peaceful then it’s a good idea to bring along your husband or close friend to moderate the discussion.
4. Kindly layout your hurt. Don’t attack. Be humble and kind.
5. Be forgiving. This is important because you can’t move past the hurt if you don’t forgive. Forgiveness is a commandment, not an option. If you are apologized to, then forgive.
Maybe you are on the other side of this conflict. Maybe you have committed the offense. Then what do you do?
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Here are some tips on resolving conflict if you’re the offender:
1. Pray. Again this is where you need to start. It’s important to make sure that your heart is right before the Lord before you can make relationships right. Pray for a humble and meek spirit as well. Repent any sin. Pray for your discussion to end well.
2. Go to that person. Again, alone is best but bring someone along if needed.
3. Ask for forgiveness. Humble yourself enough to ask for forgiveness.
The key for the offender here is to make sure you have the right spirit. If you think you did nothing wrong, if you want to air out your own grievances or you don’t really want to apologize at all then the discussion will not be fruitful and the relationship will not be repaired. You could actually make it worse.
If you know you’ve offended someone, it’s a great idea to talk to that person as soon as you can. Don’t let it fester. Your pride is what is making you want to ignore it or justify your actions. But put yourself in the other person’s shoes, they’re upset and maybe even hurt by your actions. That should affect you, so resolve it!
Resolving conflict is not an easy thing. It’s often a painful experience. Our pride causes the conflict and it prevents us from resolving it. Ouch.
Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
But Jesus commands you to love your neighbor as yourself. A little less pride, more kindness, love, and encouragement can go a long way to preventing conflicts in the first place. When you think less of yourself and the things that you do the less you’ll be hurt or do the hurting.
I hope the next time, because there will be a next time, conflict arises in your life that you will be able to resolve it biblically.