Resolving Conflict: Don’t Make It About You |Make it About God

9 Aug

conflict“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” –Colossians 3:13

Easier said then done sometimes right? Forgiveness is not easy especially when our sense of self preservation kicks in to guard from further hurt. We are not imbued with magnanimity it is something we have to work hard to engage. God wants us to forgive so we need to obey and reflect His mercy and grace even when we want to hold on to the slight and make it all about us. When we refuse to forgive we risk allowing the anger to turn into bitterness and resentment.

“The person who is living by grace sees this vast contrast between his own sins against God and the offenses of others against him. He forgives others because he himself has been so graciously forgiven. He realizes that, by receiving God’s forgiveness through Christ, he has forfeited the right to be offended when others hurt him”

–Jerry Bridges Transforming Grace p. 44-45.

It is not about us…

Resolving Conflict: Don’t Make It About You

“If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18 (HCSB)

A LifeWay Research study revealed that people claim to be prepared to resolve conflict between themselves and others. According to a survey of more than 1,000 American adults, nearly 85 percent somewhat or strongly agree they are prepared for such resolution.

But how prepared are they, really?

Ranking seven options, respondents suggested “Go to a higher authority,” “Avoid the problem and hope it goes away,” and “Attempt to fully satisfy yourself and others” less than half the time. “Give in to the other person” and “Pretend there is no conflict” were suggested more than half the time, with “Find a middle ground” mentioned nearly 75 percent of the time.

This deeper questioning reveals a truly problematic thought process of how conflict can be resolved, though. The answer mentioned most often – more than 80 percent of the time – was “Stand up for yourself.”

Experience will teach almost anyone who cares to learn that wanting our own way – selfishness – is the cause of conflict, not the solution to it. It seems people who insist on their own way will impede peace rather than pave the way for it.

The Bible addressed this centuries ago. In the New Testament book of Philippians we read, “If there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” Phil. 2:1-4, HCSB.

Notice how the emphasis on unity in verse 2 depends on the attitudes mentioned in verses 3 and 4: humility and preferring others before ones self.

The attitudes of humility and putting others first are at direct odds with standing up for yourself as a means of resolving conflict. If humility is a means of deflecting conflict in the beginning, it is a necessary ingredient to resolving it.

As followers of Christ we must be peacemakers in our families, our small groups and our families of faith. As we pour over Gods Word together let us make sure we remain humble, treating others as we hope to be treated, and considering others before ourselves. To put it another way, echoing the words of the Apostle Paul, “Make your attitude that of Christ Jesus.” When we do, there will be more unity and less conflict.

via Resolving Conflict.

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