While most of us may not like conflicts they are a part of life. You will have conflicts with your coworkers. You will have conflicts with your spouse. You will have conflicts with your children. You will have conflicts with fellow church members. You will have conflicts. The only way to never have a conflict is to spend the rest of your life in a cave all by yourself. But if that is not possible for you, then you might as well get used to the idea that at some point you will have a conflict with someone and you will have to deal with it. There are right and wrong ways of dealing with conflict. Let me give you some wrong ways of dealing with conflict.
Be sure to develop and maintain a healthy fear of conflict, letting your own feelings build up so you are in an explosive frame of mind most of the time.
If you are forced to state your concerns, be as vague and general as possible. That way the other person cannot do anything practical to help the situation.
Never admit that you could be wrong or even partially at fault. Assume you know all the facts and you are totally right. Then do most of the talking.
The use of an argument winning Bible verse is helpful. Especially if you can compare the other person to hard-hearted Israel, the fool from Proverbs, or the self-righteous Pharisees.
With a touch of defiance, announce your willingness to talk with anyone who wishes to come and discuss the problem with you. But take no steps to initiate such conversation yourself.
Latch tenaciously onto any evidence you can find that shows the other person is merely jealous of you.
Judge the motivation of the other party. Make reference to as many of their previous failures and instances where they have been unkind as you can to prove your point.
Keep track of all angry words. Theirs, not yours. Bring these up constantly.
If for some horrible reason the discussion should seriously focus on a resolution be sure to make the issue a win/lose battle. Reject any possible solutions that will prevent you from claiming total victory and their unconditional surrender.
Pass the buck! If you are about to get cornered into a solution, indicate you are without power to settle; you need your partner, spouse, bank, or whatever. Just be sure you do not allow resolution. Keep the wound open.
If you are like me some of those hit close enough to home to make you uncomfortable. The Bible is pretty honest about the fact that conflicts will arise even in the best of relationships. In the book of Acts conflicts arose between the Greek speaking Christians and the Hebrew speaking Christians. Conflicts arouse between Paul and Barnabas. There are just lots of examples that show us that conflicts will come.
Someone once said, “The difference between spiritual and unspiritual community is not whether conflict exists, but is rather in our attitude toward it and our approach to handling it. When conflict is seen as an opportunity to draw more fully on spiritual resources, we have the makings of spiritual community.” In other words, the way we handle conflict demonstrates our level of spiritual maturity. This week I’m going to write about ways of handling conflict that are faithful to Scripture and demonstrate spiritual maturity.
For further study read Matthew 5:21-26.
Who should take the initiative to resolve conflict?
Why should they take the initiative to resolve the conflict?
When should they seek to resolve the conflict?
Is there a conflict in your life that you need to work to resolve?